Nottingham Forest are reportedly closing in on the signing of Serge Aurier on a free transfer, in a deal that could represent a late blunder from Steve Cooper.
It was suggested by Sky Sports earlier this week that Aurier would sign a two-year contract at the City Ground, where he will likely compete with Neco Williams for a starting spot in Cooper’s side.
Reporter Dharmesh Sheth tweeted on Tuesday that Willy Boly would become Forest’s 19th signing of the new window, unless Aurier was completed first, which suggests that an announcement for the Ivorian is imminent.
The Reds have done some remarkable business following their promotion back to the top-flight, spending over £140m on almost an entirely new squad, as Cooper looks to defy the odds and keep Forest in the Premier League, and his ambition was matched with marquee signings such as Jesse Lingard, Morgan Gibbs-White and Renan Lodi.
However, Cooper could undo all that hard work by bringing Aurier in this summer, as the former Tottenham Hotspur man emphasised during his time in north London that he is a liability both on and off the pitch.
After a number of misdemeanours at PSG, which included homophobic slurs and a visit to court, Aurier’s time at Spurs wasn’t much better, as he was guilty of breaking lockdown rules a number of times during the pandemic, which suggests that he is the sort of character Cooper should avoid having in the squad.
His performances on the pitch weren’t much better, with his attitude towards defending often criticised by former professionals, such as Jamie Carragher.
He said: “Aurier is maybe one of the biggest liabilities in Premier League football and is a player who would possibly put you off management with the amount of crazy decision he makes.”
It’s hardly a glowing review and indeed, those claims were backed up by Jamie Redknapp and Michael Dawson who lambasted the full-back after he gave away a decisive free-kick when Manchester City defeated Spurs in the 2020/21 Carabao Cup final.
Redknapp said: “Aurier does well to start with – he follows the one-two and then just makes the most ridiculous and rash decision, that we see him do so often,” before Dawson added it was a “criminal” error.
That campaign was a particularly poor one, making three mistakes that led to a shot and giving away a penalty.
Cooper already has Williams and Giulian Biancone as his right-back options, and while Aurier could provide some experience, his attitude and previous performances in the Premier League do little to suggest that he would be a good addition, and he could even disrupt things in the dressing room and undo all Nottingham Forest’s hard work this summer. It would be a big mistake to sign him before the deadline.