Barcelona adds Emerson as USMNT’s Dest linked with Arsenal, others

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Barcelona’s roster revolution continues and the latest Camp Nou addition could have serious implications for young USMNT back Sergino Dest, who is being linked with interest abroad.

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Ronald Koeman’s men have signed a third player this week after Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia, exercising the right to bring back right back Emerson Royal from Real Betis after a two-year loan.

Emerson, 22, has been with the Andalusian club since 2019, a veritable every-week starter with five goals and 10 assists across all competitions.

Emerson is a fireball, with nine yellow cards and as red in La Liga this season, and he’s not as smooth a passer as Dest. But Emerson is superior in almost every defensive metric — noting of course that Betis has to play quite a bit more defense than possession-centric Barca.

Barca’s announcement points out that only three La Liga defenders have contributed more assists than Emerson over the past two seasons: new teammate Jordi Alba, Sevilla’s Jesús Navas, and Atlético Madrid’s Kieran Trippier.

So what does this mean for Dest, who moved to Barca from Ajax last summer? The 20-year-old scored thrice with an assist in 44 appearances for Barcelona this season, winning the Copa del Rey.

A report from Sport’s Toni Juanmarti claims that Arsenal, Juventus, and Bayern Munich have all expressed interest in Dest, but the USMNT man is dedicated to succeeding at Barcelona.

Would a move make sense? Dest is still a phenomenal talent and the same reporter claims that Sergi Roberto will leave Barca if Koeman stays, the manager’s status still up in the air after an uneven first season in Catalonia. We’d bet on Dest staying as the club rebuild continues and — in theory — Lionel Messi looks to lead Barca back to the top of La Liga.

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