Emerson Aparecido Leite de Souza Junior aka Emerson Royal and known to everyone as Emerson. Currently, he is playing for Real Betis in La Liga and according to the reports of Mundo Deportivo, this Brazilian boy would be one of the hottest transfers in the coming summer.

Barcelona are in the process of planning something big in the summer window and Emerson is in their good book. Back in January 2019, Barcelona and Real Betis paid 6-million Euros each to Atletico Mineiro for the right to make a claim for a place in Spanish Football League.

That agreement witnessed Emerson remains in Andalusia until 2021, before then going on to spend the next three years in Catalunya.

Betis would not let Emerson go easily but Barca have the option for a deal that would take them the sole authority over Emerson for 9-million Euros.

Again, back in France, Paris Saint-Germain are showing great interest for the Brazilian as well. Even though no officials offer has been made but even if they wish to sign the Brazilian boy, they would have to spend quite a bit because Barcelona are looking for a minimum of 25-million Euros from any deal that takes Emerson to a club other than Barca.

Traditionally, Emerson plays as a right-back and in Betis, he was seen much more comfortable in that position.  Meanwhile, in Barcelona, the emergence of Sergino Dest has made him the part and parcel of the team and it does not seem, Ronald Koeman would change the current format he is using.

If Barca plans to fit Emerson in Koeman’s formation then either he would have to play as a pure centre-back or inverted full-back – this ploy would definitely kill the confidence and natural abilities of the full-back.

Moreover, over the years Barca have never been the ideal home for the Brazilians – ultimately they lose their way – players like Philippe Coutinho and Arthur are the perfect examples.

It would have been ideal if a Real Madrid move was possible, but right now, that possibility looks thin.

The Los Blancos has other plans with players from Brazil.

Who is Emerson?

Emerson was born in Sao Paulo but raised in Americana, Sao Paulo.

Emerson joined Ponte Preta’s youth setup in 2015, after notably representing Palmeiras, Sao Paulo FC and Gremio.

After appearing as an unused substitute in some matches of the 2016 Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, he made his senior debut in 2017, replacing injured Artur in a 2–2 Campeonato Paulista away draw against Linense.

Despite being booked and committing a penalty, he was given his first start three days later, in a 1–0 home defeat of Sao Bernardo.

Emerson made his Serie A debut in November 2017, replacing injured John Kleber in a defeat against Bahia.

He contributed with three league appearances during the campaign, as his side suffered relegation.

Promoted to the first team ahead of the 2018 season, Emerson became a regular starter for Macaca, making 14 appearances in the 2018 Campeonato Paulista.

In April 2018, he scored his first professional goal, the winning one in the Campeonato Paulista do Interior final against Mirasso.

Two weeks later, Emerson signed a five-year deal with Atletico Mineiro for a rumoured fee of R$ 5 million. As a part of the deal, Danilo Barcelos moved in the opposite direction on loan.

Emerson made his debut for the club in May 2018, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1–0 win over rivals Cruzeiro.

Initially a backup to Patric, he ended the year with 23 league appearances. He scored his first goal in the top tier on 30 September, netting his team’s third in a 5–2 home routing of Sport.

His talent was noticed by the scouts of La Liga and the next year he flew to Spain.

How good is Emerson?

In one word – Emerson is extremely good and effective.

Capped at U20, U23 and now at senior level for Brazil, he has a bright future ahead of him for club and country if he can continue to improve and develop, but importantly his attributes, characteristics and strengths arguably would be an asset for any top clubs in Europe.

Emerson is tenacious and combative defensively, regularly putting pressure on his opposite number and getting tight to his man to try and dispossess him.

Importantly, he also has a great recovery pace if he’s caught out having gone forward, and he has shown his ability to execute excellently-timed tackles to snuff out the danger.

Emerson has the pace and directness along with the technical quality to beat players, and importantly, he has shown an ability to pick his head up, pick out the right pass in the box to find a teammate and he can certainly strike the ball too.

While playing for Betis last season, Emerson scored three goals and provided 4 assists in 16 games and in this season so far, from 24 games, he has notched up one goal and provided 4 assists.

One of his best performances had been the match against Huesca, played on January 11, 2021, in Primera Division, where was at his very best and dominated the right-flank.

This season he has played 2093 minutes till now and 49.3 passes on average in 90 minutes with an accuracy of 82% in La Liga. He provided 3.8 long balls per 90 minutes and in the final third it is 17.2 per same minutes. He has created 5 big chances with 2.5 crosses. Attempted 2.9 tackles and won 1.5 of them. Attempted 2.9 aerials and won 1.6 of them. Attempted 13.3 duels and won 7.7. Made 2.4 clearances.

He is a productive customer.

Which club should Emerson join?

The direct answer would be – Don’t join Barcelona right now. To flourish, Emerson would need enough playing time and it is clubs like PSG or Arsenal, who also showed interest in him, would be the best options. In Barca, Emerson would not get enough playing time for sure and the right position.


To be frank, PSG should push the move for Emerson. They would need such a tenacious customer and for someone like Mauricio Pochettino, he is the perfect full-back.

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