At one point this season, Tottenham Hotspur had six fullbacks available for selection. As of today, they are down to two, one of whom was purchased in January. Video emerged on Twitter last night of Emerson Royal limping off the pitch during Brazil’s friendly match against Morocco.
Spurs defender Emerson Royal limps off during Morocco vs Brazil friendly.#DestinationMorocco2025 pic.twitter.com/bjeD43ui4S— Owuraku Ampofo (@_owurakuampofo) March 26, 2023
Now it appears the injury is serious. Tom Barclay tweeted a little while ago that Emerson hurt his knee and that the injury will require surgery. There are no indications as to how long he might be sidelined, but if it’s knee surgery I’d guess that he’s out for the rest of the season.
Emerson Royal has damaged his knee playing for Brazil and is set to undergo surgery— Tom Barclay (@TomBarclay_) March 27, 2023
Emerson’s injury continues what has been a streak of absolutely horrible injury luck this season. The injury means that Spurs have just two healthy first team players at the fullback positions — Pedro Porro and Ivan Perisic. Emerson joins Ryan Sessegnon and Ben Davies on the trainers’ table, while Matt Doherty was released in January. Spurs do have other options in Djed Spence and Destiny Udogie, but both are on loan and cannot be recalled. Yves Bissouma, Rodrigo Bentancur, and Hugo Lloris are also out injured, though Hugo appears at least to be close to a return after playing 45 minutes in a closed-door friendly last week.
The fact that Spurs are down to one match a week for the remainder of the season is the only slightly bright spot here — rotation is less of a requirement now than when Spurs were playing two games a week. But considering Perisic’s form this season, it’s certainly not ideal.
The injury to Davies also more or less locks Spurs into what we assume would be a back three of Cuti Romero, Eric Dier, and Clement Lenglet. Let’s hope nothing happens to one of them.