Tottenham Hotspur: CIES rankings perhaps suggest a surprise worst performer

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Tottenham Hotspur and Brazil full-back Emerson Royal has been ranked as the worst-performing player for the north London club over the last month. 

That is according to the CIES Football Observatory’s player rankings, which rates players on a match-by-match basis, using data from OptaPro.

Royal, who joined for £26m, has earned himself a rating of 71/100 for his performances in the Premier League over the last month, displaying a decent level of performance despite being the lowest-ranked in Antonio Conte’s side.

Therefore, we felt this was an opportunity to see whether the Brazilian’s ranking within the Spurs squad is justified or perhaps a little harsh.

Over the last four Premier League games, Royal has played at least some part in all four, with the right-back playing the full 90 minutes in the first three, before a 35-minute appearance in the side’s 6-2 victory over Leicester City. 

But the six-cap Brazil international, who has been described as “superb” by former footballer Graham Roberts, was only able to keep one clean sheet in that time and contributed zero goals and assists, as Spurs earned 10 points from a possible 12.

However, SofaScore seems to suggest that the 23-year-old has been in impressive form over his last four league matches, even earning himself ratings of 7.3 and 7.4 in clashes with West Ham United and Fulham respectively.

In his last full 90-minute appearance, which came in the club’s 2-1 home victory over the Cottagers, the right-back was exceptional in a defensive sense, winning six of seven ground duels and two of three aerial duels, as well as making three tackles throughout the game.

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In fact, when ranking Royal’s performances since the beginning of the Premier League campaign, SofaScore ranks the Brazilian as the club’s sixth-best performer, suggesting that he has been a generally solid presence domestically.

Meanwhile, when you look at the players to appear in every league game thus far, all have made more goal contributions than the Brazilian – with the lowest of those being a relatively impressive two-goal haul from a rejuvenated Eric Dier.

And in coming up against the likes of an in-form Harry Kane, Dejan Kulusevski and fellow wing-back Ivan Perisic, there is hardly any shame in being bettered by his teammates while the team continue to get results.

Therefore, we think that CIES’ ranking of Royal as the lowest-rated player in the Spurs squad doesn’t tell the full story, though we do think that his assist output could be improved to turn him into a more rounded modern-day full-back.

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