Conte 'doesn't trust or rate' £25m Tottenham ace

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte ‘doesn’t trust’ or ‘rate’ defender Emerson Royal, according to journalist Paul Brown.

The 23-year-old has endured a difficult start to his Spurs career since arriving from Barcelona via a £25 million deal in the summer and has slipped down the pecking order under Conte.

How well has Royal been performing?

Royal was signed by the north London outfit by former manager Nuno Espirito Santo and instantly became the first-choice right-back at the club, starting nine of his opening 10 Premier League games.

However, although Conte initially stuck with the Brazil international after succeeding Espirito Santo in the Tottenham dugout, he appears to have lost faith in him in recent weeks.

Fellow wing-back Matt Doherty has started the capital club’s last three top-flight fixtures, justifying his selection by registering one goal and three assists in that time.

Meanwhile, Royal has received just 12 minutes of action while Doherty has continued to flourish, failing to come off the bench against both Everton and Manchester United.

And Tottenham’s failed pursuit of Wolves’ Adama Traore during the January transfer window was further indication that Conte is perhaps unsatisfied with his options down the right flank.

What has Brown said about Royal?

Spurs have had a respectable defensive record since Conte’s arrival, securing seven clean sheets in their 17 league fixtures under the Italian tactician’s stewardship.

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But Brown believes the former Inter boss has already lost faith in Royal’s ability following a string of underwhelming displays since arriving on English shores.

He told GiveMeSport: “I wouldn’t say he’s given up on Emerson Royal, but he doesn’t trust him or rate him as a player.”

Could Tottenham replace Royal?

According to Italian outlet Calcio Mercato, Tottenham could offer either centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers or midfielder Harry Winks to Southampton as part of any deal to sign Tino Livramento.

The 19-year-old only moved to St. Mary’s last summer from boyhood club Chelsea for just £5m but has excelled throughout his first season in senior football.

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Livramento has racked up three goal contributions in his 26 appearances for the Saints, playing a pivotal part in their rise to 10th in the Premier League standings, reportedly attracting admiring glances from Spurs in the process.

Conte’s charges may have to move quickly in order to secure his services, though, as Chelsea inserted a buyback clause into the deal that took him to the south coast that becomes active in 2023, meaning a summer switch could be targeted by Spurs.

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