Mikel Arteta pulled Arsenal plug on straight swap deal for Tottenham signing

Mikel Arteta Arsenal boss Emirates vs Norwich September 2021

Mikel Arteta is understood to have pulled the plug on a summer swap deal that would have seen Arsenal land Emerson Royal.

Royal signed for north London rivals Tottenham for €30m at the start of the month. The right-back penned a five-year deal, but he was wanted by Arsenal also.

The Gunners are believed to have held advanced talks with Barca over a deal which would have seen Hector Bellerin move in the opposite direction.

However, according to The Athletic, the deal was halted under the guidance of Spanish boss Arteta. The manager was unsure just how the attack-minded Emerson would fit into his Arsenal squad.

Arteta was understood to be looking for a more defensively sounds defender to build his backline on. Therefore, Arteta gave the green light for a deal for Takehiro Tomiyasu instead.

Tomiyasu arrived from Bologna the day before Royal and for almost half the price. The Japan star cost around £15.5m and made his debut in Saturday’s win over Norwich.

Tomiyasu, who can also play at centre-back, looked solid as he played for an hour at The Emirates at right-back. He was replaced by Emile Smith Rowe as Arteta tweaked his formation.

Royal on the other hand had a real baptism of fire in Spurs’ 3-0 defeat at Crystal Palace. He struggled to keep Wilfried Zaha in check and was at fault for Odsonne Edouard’s second goal.

It may well be that Arteta’s gut instinct was correct.

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The collapse of the swap deal left Bellerin’s future up in the air. The Spanish defender ended up leaving The Emirates for a loan move to Real Betis, where he could make his debut on Monday night.

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Ramsdale ready to fight

Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsdale has no plans to return to the bench and has warned under-pressure Bernd Leno that he will fight to be the undisputed No.1.

“I don’t know what the manager is going to do.


“This might have just been a tactical tweak so it is my responsibility to force him to carry on picking me, which is something I have to do on a daily basis.

“Me and Bernd will be very competitive in a good, healthy way, and hopefully I can stay in the team.

“You have got to be ready to play as a goalkeeper. You don’t know when anything is going to happen. I’m ready every week.

“It could have been in a few months’ time but it has happened now.

“We have got to continue the competitiveness on the training ground and I’ve got to try and stay in the team and help them. There is a lot to carry on going and we will see where it takes us this season.”

READ MORE: Merson sets record straight with rebuttal to star’s fanciful Arsenal claims