Serge Aurier has cut a decisive figure among Tottenham fans since he joined the North London side. The Ivorian fullback joined from French giants PSG for around £23 million. Aurier has had mixed performances so far this season and last weekend’s victory over Bournemouth is the latest game that has split fan opinion regarding the right-back. A goal and an assist were not enough to avoid criticism with yet another foul throw and multiple failed crosses being used as the sticks to beat Aurier with. Aurier is a natural athlete with pace and power that few opponents are capable of matching. However, he still has a rawness and rashness about him that needs time and coaching in order to eradicate from his game.
Aurier and Kieran Trippier have been fighting for the right-back spot all season. Manager Mauricio Pochettino has given both players opportunities to show their worth. It is mid-March now and many are still unsure of who is the ‘first-choice right-back’. Although Trippier is regarded as a safer option and also an England international, he lacks the pace and power to get up and down the pitch that Aurier possesses and this is evident whenever the Englishman starts at right back.
Serge Aurier and his Maturity
The former PSG man is seen by many as a ‘loose cannon’. He has given away penalties in big games already this season and has also received a silly sending off against West Ham. Off the pitch, however, Aurier is completely different to his PSG days. He came under a cloud of a homophobic periscope rant as well as a banning order from the UK following a drunken brawl with a Paris police officer. Since Aurier arrived in the UK he hasn’t put a foot wrong off the pitch. The Ivorian is credited with introducing the highly popular card game ‘Uno’ to the squad. Various players have posted videos of the game on social media since his arrival. Many feared that Aurier would be a disruptive figure in the dressing room. However, the exact opposite appears to be the case.
Room for improvement
Many of Serge Aurier’s critics ignore how poor Kyle Walker and Danny Rose were when Pochettino began coaching them. If either of those two was sold when the Argentine took charge then no one would have batted an eye. Both of these players have since been named in the PFA team of the season. Aurier is better than both of those two were when Pochetino began coaching him. He has French league titles and French Team of the Year awards already under his belt. So there is no reason why the right-back cannot reach the same levels under Pochettino’s guidance.