The end could be nigh for one Tottenham star after a club insider made a claim about his long-term future in north London.
Brazilian right-back Emerson Royal is the player in question, with the defender currently suspended after seeing red in the recent north London derby defeat to Arsenal.
Royal will complete his ban as Spurs head to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Wednesday evening. And the player who has replaced him in the previous two outings, Matt Doherty, has impressed.
The Republic of Ireland star excelled in the wins over Brighton and Everton. Emerson, meanwhile, was back in the starting XI for the midweek Champions League win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Doherty particularly shone in the second half against the Toffees before being replaced by Djed Spence.
And now Spurs insider John Wenham believes the club could move on from Emerson. And he is not the only one, with former Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara recently calling for the defender to be sold.
Time is up for Emerson
Wenham told Football Insider: “I hope it is hard for Emerson to get back in now.
“I hope Matt Doherty continues to impress, he’s been incredible. At Man United last year, we had this really good run of form going into the game and Doherty had been playing really well.
“In that game, he had a poor time and Man United really targeted him. So this game is a big test for him. If he comes through that with flying colours and we win then it will be very, very difficult to take him out of the team.
“I don’t think too many people would be upset by that because Emerson has been underwhelming for a while now.
“Spence played as well. So if he can continue to get minutes it is hard to see how Royal gets back into the side.”
Royal has made 12 appearances this season in all competitions, registering one assist. However, he has largely been wasteful in the final third, an area of the field where Doherty has more quality.
Doherty faces tough Old Trafford test
Doherty could have his hands full on Wednesday evening though when Tottenham face United.
As was mentioned above, the wing-back had a tough time coping with United’s threat down his side in the 3-2 loss at Old Trafford back in March.
That night he came up against Jadon Sancho, while Marcus Rashford also switched wings to make life hard for Doherty.
However, he was defensively pretty sound in the games against the Seagulls and Toffees. And Conte will be hoping that continues for the big game in Manchester.
With Arsenal in Europa League action this week, Spurs could move to within a point of their rivals at the top of the table – if they get the three points at United.
One player who will definitely be missing for that game, however, is striker Richarlison.
The Brazilian suffered a calf injury against his old club on Saturday. However, is expected to be fit for the World Cup which starts next month.