Tottenham Hotspur star Emerson Royal has spent £800,000 of his own money to become a better player and impress manager Antonio Conte.
The full-back joined Spurs from Barcelona in 2021 when Nuno Espirito Santo was in charge.
He was sacked and replaced by Conte in November, with the Italian coach said to be unimpressed with Royal.
It didn’t dampen the 23-year-old’s spirits, however. According to The Sun, he’s taken several steps to improve his all-around game.
The Brazil international purchased a hyperbaric oxygen tank to maintain his fitness levels at home.
He uses it after games and posted an image of himself wearing a mask in the tank on Instagram.
Emerson has started eight games this season. (Image Credit: Alamy)Royal’s father is part of his management team and reportedly hired a neuroscientist to help his son manage the pressure of being a Premier League footballer.
Neuroscience involves monitoring the brain’s behaviour and picking up how it functions. It’s seen as a rapidly advancing field and provides positive results for most.
Conte is famous for using a back three with wing-backs who can get forward as well as defend. During his time at Inter Milan, he had Achraf Hakimi on the right who thrived in the role.
Hakimi is now at Paris Saint-Germain and Royal commissioned a scouting report of the Morocco international, who scored seven goals in 45 games for Inter en route to winning Serie A.
In 2021, Conte called Hakimi ‘one of the strongest full-backs in the world’ after improvements at both ends of the pitch.
Hakimi and Conte in 2020. (Image Credit: Alamy)He declared: “He needed some benches and he accepted it calmly and is eager to learn.
“Now he is one of the strongest full backs in the world. He has also improved a lot in the defensive phase and in the last pass.”
Given how Hakimi took to Conte’s physically demanding system, he’s the perfect case study for Royal.
The former Real Betis man has started eight games for Spurs in all competitions this season with Matt Doherty still not back to full fitness after rupturing his MCL in April.
They defeated Leicester City 6-2 in their last game and return to action against bitter rivals Arsenal on Saturday.