According to David Ornstein, Arsenal had rejected the chance to sign Emerson in the summer. The Gunners were offered a direct swap deal from Barcelona involving Hector Bellerin and Emerson, but Mikel Arteta pulled the plug on the move, believing that the Brazilian will not suit his style of play. The right-back eventually joined Tottenham, while Bellerin moved to Real Betis on loan.
Have Arsenal Dodged A Bullet?
Arsenal‘s decision to pass on Emerson was certainly an interesting choice by the club given that a direct swap deal with Bellerin would have proved to be quite a bargain rather than the €25 million fee Tottenham Hotspur paid for the services of the Brazilian.
Emerson certainly did enjoy success with his former club Real Betis and was one of La Liga’s most highly-rated right-backs prior to joining FC Barcelona in the summer. However, there have been many critics who have suggested that the 22-year-old is not very consistent and doesn’t offer enough quality to thrive in the Premier League.
It is perhaps a reason why Barcelona decided to offload Emerson despite having only signed him earlier in the summer. Not to mention, the right-back endured a nightmare of a debut against Crystal Palace, when he was rattled by Wilfried Zaha on the flanks.
However, it is far too early to judge the youngster, who has time to settle into life in England and is bound to improve. So it remains to be seen whether the decision to pass on Emerson was a dodged bullet for Arsenal.
Did Arteta Make The Decision?
Mikel Arteta’s primary reason behind his reluctance to sign Emerson was the Brazilian’s style of play that did not suit his tactical setup. It appears the Arsenal manager is not a fan of the youngster’s attacking nature, and as a result, he ultimately opted for Takehiro Tomiyasu.
The Japanese international joined Arsenal from Bologna on deadline day. A centre-back by trade, Tomiyasu is a versatile defender who can operate as a right-back as well. During his time in Italy, the youngster had built a reputation for his stern defending and an imposing 1.88m frame.
Unlike Emerson, Tomiyasu has started the season on a bright note as well, starring in the win over Norwich City. While it is still too early to judge the defender, the former Bologna starlet certainly appears to be a good investment for Arteta, given his versatility, strength and defensive prowess.
The decision to sign Tomiyasu instead of Emerson, therefore, wasn’t particularly a bad move by Arteta, but it remains to be seen whether the Arsenal manager can nurture him well this season.