Likeliest candidate to leave Tottenham identified, with shock loan return to former club taking shape

Tottenham stars Djed Spence, Son Heung-min and Emerson Royal

Tottenham Hotspur have decided which of their right-backs to offload in January as they aim to reinforce the position, according to a report.

Spurs currently have Emerson Royal, Matt Doherty and Djed Spence at right-back in their squad. However, Antonio Conte has not been able to rely on any of them for form. Hence, Tottenham are looking at potential upgrades they can sign.

It would not make sense for them to have four right-backs at once, so someone will have to make way first. Now, new information has emerged as to who they could be cutting ties with.

According to SportItalia, Conte’s side are most likely to sanction a departure for Emerson. The Brazilian has struggled to live up to expectations since joining from Barcelona in 2021.

There have already been indications that he could be the casualty of Tottenham’s pursuit of a new right-back. Previous claims have suggested he may yet have the best resale value, despite his decline in form.

However, Tottenham might not be selling Emerson after all. Instead, the report claims they are considering loaning the 23-year-old out so he can regain some of his potential.

With that in mind, Emerson’s former club, Real Betis, have supposedly taken information about the full-back.

Emerson played for Betis between 2019 and 2021, in a cross between a loan and a co-ownership deal with Barcelona. During his time in Andalusia, he made 79 appearances in all competitions.

Three outings followed for Barcelona before they quickly sold him to Tottenham, who have him under contract until 2026. So far, Emerson has managed 60 appearances for Spurs, but has only scored once.

Emerson Royal could change fortunes with Real Betis

Now, Emerson could rediscover a rhythm back with Betis. Before they can welcome him back, though, they must clear space by offloading one of their own options.

One of their own right-backs, former Barcelona and Brighton man, Martin Montoya, has been identified as someone they could get rid of. After all, he has only played three times in La Liga this season.

If they can find a suitor for him, then they may be able to speak to Tottenham about taking Emerson back.

In turn, Spurs would be able to go after one of their own targets, such as Pedro Porro of Sporting CP or Denzel Dumfries of Inter.

Either of them might be expensive, but right-back is a clear position of need for Tottenham. Hence, if they are to keep Conte on side while his own contract talks continue, they may have to pay up.

What the future would hold for Emerson beyond any loan spell is unclear. If he was to do well elsewhere, perhaps his confidence might increase for a second chance with Spurs. Alternatively, his market value could rise to make a sale more palatable, since it currently looks like Tottenham will be making a loss on him when the time comes to say farewell.

Daniel Levy is always keen to avoid such a scenario, so perhaps this strategy could help. Whatever happens, Emerson needs to raise his game soon.

READ MORETottenham gunning for Chelsea cast-off as Sky Sports reporter hints mighty Barcelona raid could follow