Tottenham Hotspur terminates Serge Aurier contract

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In an eleventh hour rebound, Tottenham Hotspur confirmed to have terminated Serge Aurier’s contract.

Prior to Emerson’s confirmation, there were rumors that Tottenham were attempting a swap deal with Barcelona for Aurier. The deal fell through with Barcelona unlikely to be impressed with the Ivorian’s defensive skills or American football.

With the absence of other suitors so late in the day, Tottenham have decided to end their four-year association with the player.

Tottenham Hotspur terminates Serge Aurier contract

Surplus to needs

Nuno Espirito Santo has long made Daniel Levy and Fabricio Paratici understand that the Ivorian is is not part of his plans. Even before the events of Transfer Deadline Day, Espirito Santo had a clear vision of what he wanted from his defenders. Aurier was never going to be able to meet these expectations.

Santo has built his Wolves squads who manage to be promoted and appear in Europe on solid foundations at the back. Whether it was a back three / five or the flat four seen at Tottenham in August, defenders had to be defenders first.

The wingers could not hide any defensive weakness under the cover of an offensive threat. The priority was for cross-blocking, line-keeping and strong tackling players who wouldn’t back down. Based on the previous four years, Tottenham fans doubted Aurier would be able to meet such demands.

Before a Premier League ball was angered, Santo had a hierarchy in mind. The decision to raise Japheth Tanganga on a more familiar Matt Doherty, who he worked with at Wolves, may have surprised some fans. But Aurier was still destined to be a third choice.

The arrival of Emerson Royal downgrades him even more. Aurier does not even have enough offensive means to reposition himself in a more advanced role. Even with a participation in the Europa Conference Conference, Aurier would struggle to gain playing time.

Serge in defensive fragility: a checkered story

It’s fair to say that Serge Aurier hardly set the world on fire in North London. His £ 25million arrival from Paris Saint-Germain was mired in controversy from the start. He had done before homophobic comments on his teammates and then manager Laurent Blanc. He never solved the problem satisfactorily, releasing a non-excuse that lacked resolution almost as much as his defensive efforts.

His time at Tottenham was characterized by defensive uncertainty and positional misunderstanding. His clear offensive preference never made up for his lack of sharpness at the rear. He often gave unnecessary penalties, and that was when he was in position.

Most often it was missing by a coordinate margin, requiring center halves to cover large areas. This inevitably had a negative impact on the overall defensive balance sheet.

It should be noted that Tottenham’s defensive troubles started with the departure of Kieran Trippier in 2019, and the need to play Aurier more regularly. This spawned a bad start under Mauricio Pochettino and the dark days that followed under Jose Mourinho.

He arrived just six months before Lucas Moura, from the same club, for the same price. Position differences aside, it’s hard to understand the stark contrast in impact between the two.

Aurier release: now or never

With recent acquisitions and a “mixed” record, it is not surprising that the Tottenham team wants to develop Serge Aurier. The fact that they aren’t even prepared to wait until January in the hopes of a buyer says a lot about their thinking.

For Tottenham, a termination may work better in the short and long term. If a mutual agreement can be reached, the club will save money on future salaries. An upfront payment now would also reduce spending on Financial Fair Play spreadsheets. It could come in handy if the club renegotiated contracts with their star players, for example, a world-class striker they want to keep at White Hart Lane.

The removal of Aurier also has the advantage of strengthening the harmony of the team. Aurier never had the influence of Moussa Sissoko and did not actively seek to undermine the team like some runaway players. But having an individual relegated to the bench, publicly ostracized by management, would be doomed to provoke discontent. Much better at eliminating potential problems now, even at an immediate financial cost.

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