Arsenal and Mikel Arteta discovering benefits of the long-term view | Jonathan Liew squib

While the Spaniard has been in charge for two years, Spurs – his opponents on Sunday – are on to their third manager

It was back in August, with the transfer deadline looming, that Arsenal began to think seriously about signing Barcelona’s promising 22-year-old right-back Emerson Royal. Talks were at an advanced stage and the club’s technical director, Edu, had already got in touch with the player to establish a relationship. But there was a stumbling block. Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager, had doubts.

Never mind that the analytics department had run the numbers and given Royal their stamp of approval. Never mind that the club were bottom of the Premier League table, the fans were in uproar and time was running out to sign a right-back. Never mind the fact that if Arsenal passed up the chance to sign Royal, he would almost certainly join Tottenham instead.

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