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Serge Aurier to Tottenham: Good move or bad?

Friday 25th August 2017
Tottenham is reportedly closing in on Paris Saint-Germain right-back, Serge Aurier.  Should Spurs fans celebrate or hope the deal hits a brick wall?

Clearly, Tottenham is extremely short in depth. Especially in defence. Danny Rose's knee injury and Kyle Walker's exit to Manchester City have created a need.

To cover for Rose, Mauricio Pochettino has settled for Ben Davies. The 24-year-old Welshman has embraced his chance. On the other side, Pochettino is still undecided. He appears ready to introduce an experienced man into the current battle between Kyle Walker-Peters and Kieran Trippier. If legal issues in France and beyond don't eventually hamper the deal, that man is apparently Aurier.
Strictly in the football sense, signing the Ivorian is perfect for Spurs. Without any doubt, Aurier is an excellent athlete and player. What he lacks technically, he makes up for with pace and energy.  The latter is a rare commodity in Pochettino's team at the moment.

It's no wonder Aurier was nicknamed 'The Bison' during his time at Lens. His unusual strength and drive should adapt well to the Premier League, although he's played his entire career in France.

His versatility will also come as a huge bonus for the Spurs boss, who loves to tinker with his tactics and line-up. Being an attacking-minded full-back usually comes at a cost: namely awful defending. However, the 24-year-old does both in equal measure. He is intelligent in his movement, shuttling between attack and defence with ease. During the last campaign, he averaged 1.67 tackles won and 1.53 interceptions per 90 minutes, but his contributions in the final third really make him special. This Bison garnered 1.13 chances created and roughly the same number of shots attempted per game last term.

Aurier's experience could be key to Spurs hopes to make a statement in the Champions League. Sweetest of all, the North London club won't have to spend a fortune to acquire his services. Less than half what they received from the sale of Walker will be enough.
On the flip side, Spurs will have to prepare mentally for the controversies associated with the 24-year-old. The Ivorian is known to be a disruptive influence in the dressing room, capable of ripping apart a tightly-knit squad. In Paris, he was constantly in the news for the wrong reasons. He assaulted a police officer and aimed a homophobic slur at former boss, Laurent Blanc. Worst of all is that he is currently banned from stepping foot in the UK pending an appeal of the assault conviction.

Assuming Aurier wins his appeal, then arrives in England a reformed man, bringing Aurier on board will send the wrong message to younger players already in the team. Trippier, for instance, worked hard and bided his time patiently before breaking through last season. His play was partially why Pochettino had no qualms auctioning Kyle Walker. So muych for loyalty should the Ivorian arrive.

If the deal is made and the gamble pays off, Spurs will have one hell of a player. But what if it doesn't? Can Pochetinno look back two years after and be thankful to PSG? Blanc tried and paid the price.

Two years ago, I committed myself to bring him to Paris, so to see what I saw yesterday… that's the thanks I get? It's pitiful.
This is a bison you can't take by the horns, Poch. You've been forewarned.
Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 


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