Serge Aurier is a statistician’s dream. Boasting an action-packed style of play and deployed in one of modern football’s most action-packed positions, practically the 45-cap Ivory Coast international’s every performance is greeted with a dose of numerical goodness hinting at a vibrant display.
This weekend was no different, as Aurier started Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Southampton at St. Mary’s. Before being taken off in the 71st minute, the former PSG man won the most aerial duels, made the second-most interceptions, the second-most tackles and the second-most chances of any Tottenham player.
And yet, statistics can never tell the full story. While Aurier’s returns on Sunday highlighted the dynamism he offers Tottenham down the right flank, they didn’t represent how erratic his game can be as well, and how that often has a knack of costing his side dearly.
The most obvious example is the red card he received against West Ham during his Premier League debut, a dismissal that could well have cost his side the match. Against Southampton on Sunday, meanwhile, Saints’ opening goal was a direct consequence of Aurier’s positional error; as he pushed up tight on Dusan Tadic, an unchecked Ryan Bertrand galloped free on the overlap and slotted a ball across goal that Davinson Sanchez turned into his own net.
It was a split-second mistake, but that’s how fine the margins are in the Premier League. And while Aurier continues to be an impressive asset for Spurs, his all-action style does tend to cause problems as well as solve them. In many ways, Spurs saw the best and the worst of the 25-year-old against Southampton. So, Spurs fans, do you see Aurier or Kieran Trippier as your club’s best right-back option? Let us know by voting below…