Arsenal pulled out of Barcelona swap deal in summer because of key Mikel Arteta concern
Arteta praises fans after Arsenal win
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Arsenal could have apparently signed Emerson Royal from Barcelona this summer in a deal which would have seen Hector Bellerin move in the opposite direction. But the Gunners pulled out of the deal after boss Mikel Arteta got cold feet.
Arsenal were in the hunt for a right-back all summer and eventually opted to take Bologna’s Takehiro Tomiyasu to north London instead.
Arteta’s side completed a £16million deal for the 22-year-old on transfer deadline day.
But the right side of Arsenal’s defence could have looked different had Arteta been keen for the swap deal with Barcelona.
According to The Athletic, the Spaniard was concerned that Royal would not fit into his side’s style of play.
The Brazil international is more of an attack-minded defender, while Tomiyasu is held in high regard for his defensive work.
And if the players’ debuts in England are anything to go by, Arteta may already feel his decision has been vindicated.
Tomiyasu put in a strong performance for the Gunners on Saturday afternoon as he helped his new side to their first Premier League victory of the season against Norwich City.
Royal, meanwhile, suffered a torrid time at the hands of Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha as Tottenham whimpered to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at Selhurst Park.
Such was the extent of disappointment around Royal’s debut, that Tottenham fans berated the club after they posted on social media to mark the occasion.
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Spurs had taken to Twitter in the aftermath of Saturday’s match to post a picture of Royal tackling Zaha alongside an emoji of a crown.
Needless to say, the Spurs fans weren’t happy.
Arteta eventually sanctioned a loan deal for Bellerin earlier this summer as he allowed the Spain international to depart the capital for Real Betis.
And Tomiyasu will now be hoping to catapult his side up the Premier League table in the coming weeks after his impressive bow.
“We are really happy,” gushed Arteta after watching his side defeat Norwich.
“We knew it was a really tricky game and we got what we wanted, which was to win the match and to get points on the table.
“After three defeats, things get complicated. I must say it has been the best 10 or 14 days in my professional career.
“Not the easiest, but the best. You learn a lot in difficult moments – who you are with.
“In difficult moments when you see the people and the level of organisation and the fans we have.
“They were ready to suffer but they just give, give, give to the team.”
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