Emerson Royal has had a tough time, both on and off the pitch, since his move to Tottenham last summer. With the season coming to an end last month, the Brazilian returned home, but was involved in an incident in the early hours of Friday morning.
Royal managed to escape an attempted armed robbery, but explained that 29 shots were fired. Earlier this week the 23-year-old spoke about the incident and explained what happened when he told the man, who was holding a gun, that he would “give him what he wants”.
“When I hand it to him, he walks away and unlocks his gun to shoot me. When he’s about to shoot me, I pushed him, slap the gun and he shoots in the air,” the Brazilian admitted.
READ MORE: Tottenham defender Emerson Royal breaks silence after armed robbery attempt in Brazil
“He fired. It was at that moment, when I pushed him, that he loses his balance and the cop shoots him. Then when he hits the shot, the rush starts.”
The 23-year-old made the move to North London last summer, transferring from Barcelona, although he had been on loan at Real Betis. The defender made 31 Premier League appearances in his first season at Tottenham, starting in 26 of those matches.
When Antonio Conte arrived, Royal struggled to make the adaptation from a full-back to a wing-back. The 23-year-old had to step-up in the final stretch of the season, as Matt Doherty picked up an injury just as the Irishman was finding form.
In December, the Italian said that: “Emerson is very young and he has to continue to work.” This is what the Brazilian did and he ended the season in better form, but there are many questions still being raised over his future in N17.
Spurs have already been linked with a number of players, who could replace the 23-year-old at right wing-back, including Djed Spence. If Tottenham do sign another right wing-back and Doherty remains in the capital, Royal may want to look elsewhere in order to get regular game time.
Ahead of the official opening of the transfer window, the Brazilian has spoken about his hopes for the future. “In fact, I had a dream of playing for Barcelona, right? Today, of course, I admire many, many clubs. Several clubs. Let’s put a list of five, six top clubs: [Man] City, Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid, big clubs that, of course, everyone wanted to play in a team, apart from Tottenham, which I play. But a specific team like that, not today,” he explained, this week.
“I’m enjoying the holidays but I’m already thinking about the next season. Because as I say, I’m going to do my best now this season because I have big goals this season.
“So preparation doesn’t start when pre-season starts, but before. So I’m thinking a little. Of course, obviously I’m going to enjoy my holiday, enjoy it, take a break from football because it’s important. But when the time is right I will be fully prepared.”
Tottenham are preparing for a tough first pre-season under Conte, but are Royal’s comments a hint that he may not be there? What the Brazilian suggests definitely highlights his need to think about his future this summer.
It’s a shame for Royal as he was brought to be a right-back under Nuno Espirito Santo. The Brazilian then needed to adapt to the wing-back role under Conte and hasn’t been able to make the required impact consistently, but that doesn’t mean he is a bad player.
The 23-year-old now needs to decide if he would be happy with the potential of being side-lined and trying to compete for his place, or if he would rather make the move somewhere he will break straight into the regular starting line-up.