Why Spurs should hold on to Serge Aurier amidst AC Milan interest
According to claims from Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb, AC Milan are still interested in signing Serge Aurier, having failed to firm up their interest in the 26-year-old Ivorian international earlier in the summer.
Aurier was one of the favourites to accompany fellow right-back Kieran Trippier out of the exit door at Spurs in the summer transfer window but he somehow ended up staying put at North London.
However, as per the report, Milan are looking to go back in the market for the 26-year-old in January, with first-choice Davide Calabria struggling with injuries and back-up Andrea Conti failing to live up to the expectations in the opening stages of the campaign.
Aurier was seemingly not in manager Mauricio Pochettino’s plans for the ongoing season following the departure of Trippier to Atletico Madrid, with the Argentine showing more confidence in academy graduate Kyle Walker-Peters.
Despite that, however, it hasn’t taken long for Serge Aurier to get himself back into the first-team reckoning after being frozen out of a few matchday squads in August, thanks largely to Walker-Peters’ hamstring injury.
With Juan Foyth also on the treatment table and Davinson Sanchez looking like a square peg in a round hole in an unfamiliar right-back role, Pochettino has been somewhat forced to go back to Aurier in a desperate attempt to cope with a grave injury crisis on the right-hand side of the backline.
And it would be fair to say that the Ivorian international has grabbed his opportunity with both hands, putting up a couple of impressive and energetic displays against Crystal Palace and Leicester City in the Premier League.
Aurier assisted Heung-min Son with an inch-perfect cross from the right in the 4-0 victory over Crystal Palace and he was unlucky not to have opened his account for the season against Leicester City, with VAR disallowing his goal due to an offside on Son in the build-up.
The 26-year-old, who made his move to North London from PSG for a fee of £23 million back in 2017, hasn’t really managed to establish himself as one of the first names on the manager’s team sheet, with the Ivorian playing second-fiddle to Trippier prior to the Englishman’s departure earlier in the summer.
Aurier’s struggles with Injuries coupled with stiff competition for places have seen him make only a total of 43 appearances in all competitions over the past two years but there has already been an indication early in the ongoing campaign that the former PSG man could get a consistent run in the first-team to add to that tally.
With Trippier now out of the picture, Walker-Peters relatively inexperienced at the highest level and Juan Foyth only a makeshift option at right-back, Aurier has a real chance on his hands to kick on after a bright start and eventually establish himself as the first-choice in his position.
To put things into perspective, lack of depth at right-back has been one of the key takeaways from Spurs’ start to the season and it should be a no-brainer for the Lilywhites to hold on to Serge Aurier for the foreseeable future, unless, of course, they have a potential replacement lined up in the market.
Agreed, Aurier isn’t the most reliable presence at the back and he often leaves a lot to be desired with his final pass in the attacking third but Spurs must be wise enough to know that they currently do not have enough options in that particular area of the pitch.
Amidst the team’s ongoing travails at right-back, Pochettino has come under scrutiny for not bringing in a replacement for Trippier and parting ways with Aurier in January is the last thing that the club needs.
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Suffice to say, Spurs should do everything in their power to ward off interest from AC Milan in the 26-year-old’s services, as losing him would only compound their woes following an indifferent start to the season.