In the latest Serge Aurier transfer news, some reports in the media have stated that he has agreed to join Spurs on a five year deal. However just over thirteen hours ago some of the same media outlets had announced that he was to reject Spurs due to favouring a move to Manchester United. What is going on?
We take a look at Aurier and whether he’s going to join Man Utd or Spurs.
Nationality: 41 caps 1 goal
Position: right-back or right wing-back, can also play centre-back
Reported Transfer Fee: £23mil
2016/17 League Stats: 21 starts (1 sub appearance) 0 goals (3 assists)
This transfer and the connected rumours are other good examples of why I’ve started this site.
I’m not going to sit here and say I know definitely what is going to happen because I don’t. In fairness to some of the media outlets it’s a difficult one to call (as you’ll see below) but what I don’t understand is how they can claim to speak with any authority on this kind of speculation and then change their tune so easily within 24 hours (or in this case 13!) News is meant to be informative and accurate, not change with the wind.
So lets look at all the contradicting information out there and hopefully provide something more honest.
So Serge Aurier… it’s reported that PSG only expect a fee of £23mil for the Ivorian. That’s half of what Man City paid for Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy. So in comparison to such deals, it’s good value for a player proven at the highest levels and with a record of winning silverware both domestically (Ligue 1 twice) and Internationally (the African Cup of Nations) In different circumstances you might be able to add £10-15mil extra to his fee. His legal issues and controversies have an had effect on his value however.
Aurier has been a controversial character during his time in France. He’s made public slurs about his manager at the time, Laurent Blanc. He has also caused offence with his goal celebrations for his one and only international goal. Whilst he was also famously denied a Visa to play in England last season for PSG in the Champions League because of outstanding assault charges and any potential move would still be reliant on this being sorted and accepted first by the Home Office.
So there’s still a chance of any deal getting scuppered.
Having sold Kyle Walker, Spurs clearly need some reinforcements at right-back. Youngster Kyle Walker-Peters was called upon in their season opener versus Newcastle. Trippier, the current starting right-back, has proven himself to be more than capable in the Premiership when called upon making a huge contribution when he’s played, especially offensively. Going forward, his crossing ability is bettered by few in his position but there’s still question marks over his defensive capabilities and I’m not convinced he’s Champions League quality.
Aurier, despite being younger is more experienced at the top level and is a much more rounded full-back. He has good physical attributes like strength, speed and stamina so should be well suited to the Premiership and the demands of being a full-back for Spurs where the expectation is to get up and down the pitch for 90 minutes. Initially he may find himself on the bench as he settles in but I would expect him to make the right-back position his own fairly soon, if he joined.
Whilst some reports suggest Aurier has accepted Spurs’ offer, a lot seem to agree that Man Utd were his preferred choice. However there’s some suggestions that Man Utd would need to sell before they buy at right-back. I’m not sure if I completely agree that’s a requirement. Darmain would be the obvious candidate to be sold but he was defensively solid when called upon last season, regardless of whether it was right, left or centre defence. His versatility and consistency make him a good squad option.
Valencia has generally maintained a high performance level even when the team has stuttered in recent years and Mourinho has been very vocal in his praise for the Ecuadorian. Everyone seems to rate Valencia. So the competition is certainly tougher at Utd for a starting place. It would be hard to see either Valencia or Aurier not getting good game time. Both players used in rotation would seem a likely outcome but Valencia has done nothing to warrant being dropped.
Aurier edges it for me as a full back, the role is more natural to him so he’s the better defender whilst given his age, he can still improve further. It would really depend on how quickly he adapted to English football in terms of how many minutes he gets though, if he joined Utd.
I am slightly surprised that PSG are prepared to let Aurier go but considering their outlay in the transfer market this summer, I suspect they are happy to make money back where they can with FIFA fair play regulations in mind. PSG have decent depth in the right back position so Aurier is a good candidate to cash in on as all their options are closely matched. Belgian Meunier is a good player and newly signed veteran Dani Alves is still a top, attacking full back, even though he probably needs to be used more sparingly these days.
Aurier would be a good signing for either Man Utd or Spurs. At worst he’d give both squads quality depth in a defensive position.
I’d probably say Spurs need him more. Their current starting right back Trippier is weaker than Valencia whilst Spurs also lack the same level of depth that Utd have in the position currently.
Utd’s interest has seemingly cooled recently too. Whereas there’s a feeling of growing momentum behind the Spurs links. So Spurs now look the most likely destination for me but with deadline day fast approaching and this time of year being famous for last ditch deals, a lot could still happen.
So Spurs or Utd? What are your thoughts on Aurier? Could he be the bargain of the window? Please let me know what you think.