Serge Aurier delivered yet another fantastic performance for Tottenham Hotspur this week, rounding off what has been quite the turnaround in form.
The 27-year-old has endured a very, very tough year.
During the UK’s first lockdown in 2020, the Ivorian right-back had to be disciplined for perpetually breaking the government’s rules and guidelines, then he tragically lost his brother in the midst of the Premier League’s resumption.
Throughout the summer, he was one player who was constantly linked with an exit from north London. It was certainly hard to envisage him sticking around after chairman Daniel Levy signed off a £15m move for Matt Doherty.
At times under Mauricio Pochettino, Aurier was often publicly lambasted by pundits – Darren Bent dubbed him a “liability” whilst Chris Waddle once claimed his “choices are sometimes terrible” and that “a calamitous mistake is never far away.”
Even Jose Mourinho admitted that he was afraid of his defending during Amazon’s ‘All or Nothing’ docuseries, via Goal.com.
However, since the summer months, Aurier has turned his career right around in N17, so much so that he’s become the Portuguese’s no.1 choice at right-back, usurping the aforementioned summer signing.
Statistically, his numbers have skyrocketed too and this is where Mourinho deserves huge credit and praise as he’s turned a major Pochettino flop into one of the standout performers in the top-flight.
In terms of tackling, Aurier has gone from averaging 2.8 per game last season to a whopping 4.1 per match this term, whilst the average number of clearances the 66-cap dynamo makes has risen by 1.1 per outing too, via WhoScored.
Ex-Gunner Ian Wright pointed this out in a recent podcast appearance, he said: “Even when you watch Aurier the other day, he looks like a different sort of player.”
Again, on Wednesday evening we got a glimpse of this, even despite Spurs falling to defeat against defending champions, Liverpool.
He has transformed that much that reports have surfaced over a contract extension.
Whilst we believe January is now a perfect time to cash in on Aurier – his value will have certainly increased since the summer – his vast improvement shouldn’t go unnoticed.
AND in other news, Mourinho surely embarrassed by 27 y/o’s display vs LFC…