Tottenham urged to make immediate upgrade on Emerson Royal and upset Arsenal in process

Conte heaps praise on Tottenham's Brazilian duo Emerson and Lucas

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Tottenham would be making an immediate upgrade on Emerson Royal if they signed Djed Spence this summer, according to former Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate. Tottenham are among the Premier League clubs interested in Spence, who is spending this season on loan at Nottingham Forest from Middlesbrough. North London rivals Arsenal are also tracking the 21-year-old.

Spence shone in Forest’s FA Cup third round win over Arsenal at the beginning of January.

And he is a player Woodgate knows well from his time managing Middlesbrough between 2019 and 2020.

Tottenham only signed Emerson from Barcelona last summer for a fee of around £25million.

But the Brazilian has received some criticism for his performances at wing-back.

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Spurs lost 3-2 to Southampton on Wednesday to dent their hopes of a top four finish this season.

And Woodgate singled out Emerson and left wing-back Sergio Reguilon as players who underperformed on the night.

“The positions [Mohamed] Elyounoussi and [Stuart] Armstrong were picking up, they were like No 10s’s,” Woodgate told the BBC.

“Emerson Royal and Reguilon, they didn’t know what to do. Spurs couldn’t deal with it. Horrendous defending by Spurs.”

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Woodgate admits Emerson is not used to the style of play in England after two years in Spain.

And he reckons Spence would be much more suited to Antonio Conte’s team than the former Barcelona star.

“If you play in La Liga like Emerson Royal has, balls don’t really go into the box that much to the back post,” Woodgate added.

“You don’t need to do that much defending. In the Premier League, it happens week in, week out.

“I’ve watched Emerson Royal and Djed Spence for Nottingham Forest, and Spence looks a different level, compared to him.” claims Tottenham and Arsenal are just two of 11 clubs who have expressed an interest in signing Spence.

Arsenal are in the market for a right-back despite the impressive start by Takehiro Tomiyasu to his Gunners career.

Mikel Arteta wants to add competition and also a different style of right-back to his squad.

Conte also has Matt Doherty at his disposal but the lack of game time for the former Wolves star strongly hints he is not part of the Italian’s plans moving forward.

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