3 Reasons Tottenham should still start Emerson Royal against Leicester

(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) /
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New Tottenham signing Pedro Porro with Sport CP
Sporting Lisbon’s Spanish defender Pedro Porro celebrates after scoring a penalty kick during the Portuguese league football match between Sporting CP and FC Vizela at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon on January 20, 2023. (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA / AFP) (Photo by PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP via Getty Images) /

Besides having the defensive support that Sanchez is likely to need with Royal starting at wing-back, Porro does need to take Emerson’s job, not be given it.

Reason 2 to start Emerson  – He earned another Tottenham start

If Royal had played poorly against City and been subbed off for Porro, who then played well, maybe Pedro would start here. However, the fact is, Royal played one of his best games of the season, earning player of the match honors from Tottenham fans.


Not starting after that performance would be detrimental to Emerson’s confidence and psyche. Having played well against a more attacking team, Royal should have a chance to push forward more against Leicester, although Barnes and Kristiansen will keep Emerson honest defensively.

Coming off a strong performance, the club has to hope that Royal has started to turn a corner in his understanding and ability in the wing-back role.

Reason 3 to start Emerson versus Leicester – Porro should come off the bench Saturday and be ready to start against AC Milan

Ideally, on Saturday afternoon, Emerson plays well for an hour or so, then Porro makes his debut getting 20-25 minutes to run about on the right. Porro will need time to adapt to the pace and physicality of the Premier League, and having him come on fresh against tired legs will help him adjust.

Additionally, if Conte and company are looking ahead, AC Milan is right around the corner, and Porro starting against the Italians makes more sense than in League play. After getting some minutes under his belt and getting used to his teammates in a real game situation Saturday afternoon, Porro will be ready to let it rip on Tuesday night under the Champions League lights, which is a league we know Porro has played in.

In the long term, the hope is that Spurs now have two good right-wing-backs that can both do the job offensively and defensively; if that is true, we will know more after Saturday.

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