Emerson Royal, Adama Traore, Aouar and exits: Tottenham’s state of play on transfer deadline day

With just 16 hours remaining of the transfer window what exactly can we expect from Tottenham Hotspur before deadline day reaches its conclusion at 11pm?

Spurs’ managing director of football Fabio Paratici has been busy, travelling to Barcelona last week in order to discuss potential deals and he will be looking to leave his mark on the club in his first transfer window.

Tottenham have already signed four players during the summer and moved on a string of high-earning first team players.

What will deadline day hold when it comes to more movement in and out of the north London club?

Here’s a look at what could happen within each area of Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad as deadline day unfolds and presents some unexpected opportunities to sign, sell or loan players:


Spurs have signed one goalkeeper, sold one, seen one leave after his contract ended and loaned out another during this window.

Pierluigi Gollini joined on loan with an option to make his move from Atalanta permanent and is expected to press his claims to eventually succeed Hugo Lloris.

Lloris is now in the final nine months of his contract at Tottenham but is still considered to be the club’s number one.

Joe Hart left Spurs and joined Celtic, Paulo Gazzaniga departed at the end of his contract, while young goalkeeper Alfie Whiteman joined Swedish side Degerfors on a season-long loan.

England U21 international Brandon Austin has returned from his loan at Orlando City in the MLS and is currently taking the third goalkeeper spot.

Foreign player limit issues would suggest that Tottenham are unlikely to attempt to sign another experienced goalkeeper from abroad on deadline day and 22-year-old Austin ticks plenty of boxes as a third goalkeeper.


This is one category where Spurs will be hoping to see movement on deadline day because they have a lot of full-backs.

Espirito Santo has three left-backs and three right-backs in his squad at the moment.

On the left, the trio contain greater versatility with Ben Davies able to also play at centre-back or in a back three at the least and Ryan Sessegnon able to play in a more advanced winger role if required.

Along with Sergio Reguilon, the Spurs boss has plenty of boxes ticked down the left.

The only potential departures could arise if an unexpected and tempting bid came in for Ben Davies, which could offer him a starting spot every week, although Espirito Santo would be loathed to lose the experienced Welshman’s versatility.

Sessegnon ruled out a loan move when asked by football.london this month and Espirito Santo is a big fan of the young left-back. Unless he suddenly decided he needs more regular starts under his belt, Spurs are unlikely to deliberately push his name around for a move.

Danny Rose also left the club this summer and later joined Watford following the expiration of his contract.

On the right, Serge Aurier wants to leave the club but Spurs have now reached the final day of the window and he is still there.

Tottenham will do everything possible to help the Irovian move on and the club are also believed to be willing to listen to offers for Matt Doherty.

With former centre-back Japhet Tanganga impressing Espirito Santo in the position, but being more of a defensively-minded right-back, Spurs have been keen to bring in a more natural right-back.

Tottenham would like to bring Emerson Royal from Barcelona to north London before the transfer window shuts
Tottenham would like to bring Emerson Royal from Barcelona to north London before the transfer window shuts

Paratici travelled to Barcelona last week and one of the players he spoke about with the financially-stricken Catalan giants was Emerson Royal.

The 22-year-old Brazil international impressed at Real Betis, having penned a joint deal with both Spanish clubs in signing from Atletico Mineiro.

After two seasons and a half seasons at Betis, he became a Barcelona player as part of the original deal and now Spurs have agreed a deal with the Spanish club to take him to north London.

Emerson appears to be sold on a move to Spurs and if Tottenham complete the transfer it is because they are confident of getting Aurier or Doherty, or perhaps even both, out of the door on deadline day as they cannot afford to have four right-backs at the club, either financially or within their foreign player limits.

Tottenham held talks to sign Bologna’s Takehiro Tomiyasu but at this stage the more natural right-back Emerson is the preferred option if only one can be signed, even through the Japan international does have the benefit of also being able to cover in central defence.

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Tottenham centre-back Cristian Romero during training at Hotspur Way this week
Tottenham centre-back Cristian Romero during training at Hotspur Way this week


Tottenham have moved on Toby Alderweireld and Juan Foyth from their centre-back ranks and signed Cristian Romero on a loan deal which is expected to eventually become a £42m permanent move.

Cameron Carter-Vickers is fit again after his ankle injury and the club are looking to find him a new club before the end of Tuesday.

One problem that has now arisen for Spurs this season is the inability of FIFA to negotiate exemptions for players playing in red list countries during international breaks.

That means – at this current stage – Tottenham will be without Romero and Davinson Sanchez for 10 days as they have to isolate at a government-designated hotel, which will not include the required exercise facilities, during next month’s international break and then again in two breaks in October and November as well as March next year.

One potential mooted plan is for those players to train together on a Croatian island for the required time before returning to the UK from the green list country.

The players will still miss numerous matches though during though and potentially more due to the loss of work with the team.

So with Romero, Sanchez, Eric Dier and Joe Rodon as the club’s four centre-backs, one injury to Dier or Rodon and Espirito Santo will need to draft in Tanganga or Davies to play out of their now regular positions.

That could lead Tottenham to take one last look at potential centre-back signings if the market throws up a tempting deal before the window closes.

Sanchez had been linked with a move out of Spurs with clubs such as Sevilla interested but following his performances as Tottenham recorded three clean sheets in their opening matches, it would require a big offer to prise him away and that would leave the club looking to fill that gap at late notice.

Central midfield

Spurs got Moussa Sissoko off the wage bill this week with a £3m move to Watford and they still have Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp and Harry Winks to play in the central roles.

Winks has been linked with a move out of the club but has thus far shown a willingness to remain and fight for his place at Tottenham.

Tottenham have also signed 18-year-old Metz midfielder Pape Matar Sarr and loaned him back to the French club until next summer.

Dele Alli has taken on a new role on the left of a midfield three, which has been mostly successful and has caught the eye of England boss Gareth Southgate.

There is also Giovani Lo Celso who can play in a deeper role, but like Romero and Sanchez, is currently facing issues with missed matches following those Argentina games this season.

With each passing day Tanguy Ndombele looks more and more like staying at Tottenham despite his desire to leave.

football.london understands that Spurs have had interest coming in to them or Ndombele’s agent from a couple of La Liga clubs for the French midfielder but neither approach satisfied both the player and the north London outfit.

Ndombele staying would make a move for another midfield playmaker more difficult in what is still a packed part of the squad with the returning Skipp having already taken the spot now vacated by Sissoko.

The best prospect of a new midfielder joining outside of Ndombele’s exit would be a ‘too good to miss’ deal arriving in the window’s final throes or the market suddenly offering up a player Espirito Santo makes a strong case to sign, with the Portuguese having built up his bargaining power quickly with his work so far at the club.

Spurs looked at what they felt was a bargain deal for 18-year-old Barcelona midfielder Ilax Moriba.

However, the preference of his representatives appears to be a more financially lucrative move to RB Leipzig next summer when his contract expires in Spain.

Tottenham have also looked at a potential deal for 24-year-old AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie in a similar move next summer.

Tottenham are interested in signing Adama Traore before the summer transfer window closes
Tottenham are interested in signing Adama Traore before the summer transfer window closes

Attacking midfielders

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Spurs had one attacking midfielder come and go during this transfer window and both moves involved Sevilla as Erik Lamela made the switch to Spain and the highly-rated Bryan Gil arrived in the opposite direction.

Tottenham have plenty of wingers in Gil, Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min, while Sessegnon can also play on the left.

That has not stopped Tottenham from trying to sign Adama Traore, a player coveted by both Espirito Santo and Paratici, with the Italian attempting to sign him while at Juventus.

That move though currently lies on the rocks due to Wolves’ desire to keep the Spaniard and shun offers for his services, despite the winger being keen on the switch to north London and it would take a hefty offer and the help of Traore to make anything happen on deadline day.

Spurs also like 20-year-old Georgian left winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who plays for Rubin Kazan.

Should Tottenham move for a winger then the plan would be to push Son up front to play alongside Harry Kane.

Tottenham need more creativity in the midfield areas with a feeling among many fans that despite Ndombele’s and Lo Celso’s subsequent arrival, what Cristian Eriksen brought to the club in his pomp was never truly replaced.

However, with Ndombele, Lo Celso and Alli all able to play in a central attacking midfield role, along with Gil and Lucas, it’s another stacked position, albeit without that natural Eriksen replacement.

Like the situation in the deeper role, unless Ndombele does leave, the best chance of such a late signing would be a deal capable of being cleverly structured that falls into Paratici’s lap, similar to those already struck with Atalanta for Gollini and Romero. Again the foreign player limits will have to be watched closely if others do not leave.

Houssem Aouar, who can play in both central midfield or in an attacking role, has been the subject of interest from Tottenham and other clubs but nobody has thus far made the move for the 23-year-old Lyon midfielder, who has been the subject of reports in the French media questioning his attitude in recent times.

Whether Tottenham will take the plunge on another Lyon midfielder with some question marks surrounding him remains to be seen in the final hours of deadline day.

In terms of youth prospects, 18-year-old Nile John is seen as a potential star for the future if he continues his current rate of progression and will get more minutes in the Europa Conference League and domestic cup matches, if potential loan moves are spurned.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 25: Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min of Tottenham Hotspur look on during the warm up prior to the Carabao Cup Final between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on April 25, 2021 in London, England. 8,000 fans are due to watch the game at Wembley, the most at an outdoor sporting event in the UK since the coronavirus pandemic started in March, 2020. Each team has been given an allocation of 2,000 with the remaining tickets split between local residents and NHS staff. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
Tottenham are hoping Harry Kane and Son Heung-min will fire home the goals for them again this season


Whatever happens on deadline day, Spurs’ biggest move of the transfer window is likely to be keeping one of the world’s best strikers in Harry Kane at the club.

Kane is back in the starting line-up and focused on the season ahead with Tottenham.

Before his return, Son had been used as the main man in an attacking three and, as above, should Spurs sign a new left winger then Espirito Santo would shift the tactics to play the South Korean up front alongside Kane, with the duo wreaking havoc together last season.

The thinking thus far has been a winger or a striker as the attacking transfer option due to the costs involved and with top striker targets Dusan Vlahovic and Lautaro Martinez having proved difficult to pry away from Fiorentina and Inter Milan respectively, Paratici would have to turn to a different option late on to tie up a new striker.

There is also 17-year-old Dane Scarlett, who is learning his trade under Espirito Santo and alongside Kane and Son and he will continue to get minutes here and there, primarily in cup competitions, but he has also been on the bench for two of the three Premier League matches so far.

The teenager is very much an unpolished diamond at Tottenham and they will look to develop him carefully over the next couple of seasons.


As always there are expected to be plenty of loan moves happening on the final day for the club’s younger players.

With only four currently out on loan, more are set to follow them in order to continue their football education.

Jack Clarke is likely to head back out, while Harvey White and Malachi Fagan-Walcott also need to keep their development ticking over.

While plenty of players left in the summer, others remaining in the older crop of academy players need first team football and that could include Dilan Markanday, who has been excellent in recent months, J’Neil Bennett, Marcel Lavinier, Tobi Omole and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster among others.

Source by Football London

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