Tottenham Hotspur star Emerson Royal would have joined Arsenal from Barcelona last year, had manager Mikel Arteta not intervened at the very last moment to block the deal.

Spurs purchased the 23-year-old in a £26 million deal from Blaugrana in the final stage of the transfer market, having looked set to sign for the Gunners.

Hector Bellerin’s loan transfer to Real Betis meant the north Londoners were desperate to bring in a right-back and a poor start to the term had piled the pressure on Mikel.

However, the Spanish tactician held his nerve in the final days of the window and refused to cave to fans’ pressure to bring in new faces for the sake of it.

Edu, the club’s technical director, had led their bid for Royal and the transfer had been backed up by the data department, who suggested Emerson – at his price and age – was a good fit for Arsenal.

But Mikel disagreed and argued passionately with the Brazilian senior member that the move was wrong for the team, claim the Guardian.


Instead, he argued for the signing of the Japan international Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna and it is fair to say that the player has outshone the South American since the duo moved to north London last summer.