With one week to go until the new season, Nuno Santo’s squad at Tottenham Hotspur is starting to take shape, though it’s a process which will ultimately take a few transfer windows to finalise.
We’ve already seen a drastic change to some key areas.
The long-serving Erik Lamela has departed, with young Spanish wonderkid Byran Gil arriving in the other direction. Toby Alderweireld has been sold to Qatar and it appears that a £47m splash for Atalanta centre-back Cristian Romero is close.
Several of Spurs’ current squad still do not know where their future lies, and with three weeks left until the end of the summer transfer window, we should expect further movement.
One name which could go either way at the minute is right-back Serge Aurier who, according to The Athletic, has been told he is for sale along with Moussa Sissoko and fellow defender Davinson Sanchez.
Some clues have already been provided throughout pre-season as the Ivory Coast international, who is thought to earn a whopping £120k-per-week, is yet to start a match under his new head coach.
Nuno turned to promising academy teenager Maksim Paskotsi for matches against lower league opposition, but in their last two outings, including one against Champions League winners Chelsea, the 47-year-old has turned to his ex-Wolves star Matt Doherty.
On that basis, you could argue that Nuno has already made his mind up on his first-choice option, and as such, it’s no wonder that Aurier has been made available for transfer.
Perhaps the Portuguese has already done his homework and knows that the 28-year-old is someone who has regularly let the club down, both on and off the pitch.
Last year, he was slapped with a fine for breaking the government’s lockdown regulations for the third time, whilst his performances and form have flattered to deceive ever since he was signed by Mauricio Pochettino in a £23m deal from the Ligue 1 giants in 2017.
Throughout the 2020/21 campaign, pundits regularly slammed Aurier for his calamitous displays – for example, former Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara described him an “absolute liability“, whilst Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher went one step further.
After defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final, he claimed, via talkSPORT: “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.”
Unfortunately, that’s been the recurring theme for the long-serving defender throughout his stint in N17, and it’s got to be time to go this summer.
“He’s got a rick in him. He has caused loads of problems. I have described him as a bit of a car crash,” further explained Carragher’s fellow Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane. “Nice powerful boy, [he] keeps going forward but defensively, I think he doesn’t smell danger or see the danger. And that’s been a huge problem for Spurs, the right-back position.”
Valued at £18m by Transfermarkt, he is someone who could potentially bolster the transfer kitty, so sporting director Fabio Paratici must do all he can to find a viable destination for Aurier.
The Ivorian must be ruthlessly sold as soon as possible.