Report: Arsenal almost signed Barcelona defender before Tottenham move
This summer, Arsenal signed Bologna’s Takehiro Tomiyasu and Tottenham Hotspur roped in Barcelona defender Emerson Royal. But what many people don’t know is that both youngsters were on the verge of joining the other team.
According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, the Gunners had been interested in signing the La Liga right-back from the beginning as part of a swap deal involving Hector Bellerin. But Mikel Arteta towards Tomiyasu for the player’s verstality that made him a better fit for the team than Emerson.
As for the Spurs, Ornsteing has claimed that the club’s negotiation with the Japanese star broke down after which Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy got in touch with the La Liga star to strengthen their defense. He was signed for £25.8m on a five-year contract.
Both players made their debuts this week. However, they had contrasting experiences. Tomiyasu was hailed for his exceptional skills in Arsenal’s 1-0 win against Norwich at the Emirates Stadium whereas Emerson featured in Spurs’ 0-3 loss to Crystal Palace in the roadgame.
The Japenese defender garnered appreciation from the Gooners, ex-Arsenal players and the coach for fitting in the squad immediately despite training only once with the team.