Tottenham need more than Kane to beat Barcelona

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Injuries to key players in Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham side couldn’t have come at a worse time for the north Londoners.

If losing Dele Alli wasn’t bad enough, to hear that Christian Eriksen, Serge Aurier, Jan Verthongen and Moussa Dembele were out too would likely have sent even the most optimistic Spurs fan into meltdown.

Hugo Lloris returns in goal in one bit of good news for ‘Poch,’ who will be heavily reliant on the talismanic Harry Kane doing the business. Continue reading

Arsenal Eye Disgraced Aurier

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It’s no surprise that the disgraced Serge Aurier is being linked with a move away from PSG, and now Arsenal appear to have entered the race for the 23-year-old.

The right back appears the obvious solution to Arsene Wenger’s need for depth in wide areas, with Mathieu Debuchy set to depart the club in the summer; leaving Hector Bellerin as the only established full back in the squad.

Aurier was widely critical of PSG boss Laurent Blanc and teammates including Zlatan Ibrahimovic in a series of posts on social network Persicope, and naturally it looks likely that the Parisian outfit will wave him goodbye. As such, his transfer value is believed to have fallen to £11.8 million; a snip of a price for a young defender with all the attributes to do well in the physical Premier League.

In a statement PSG officials confirmed that the Ivorian will train with their reserve squad until March 20 pending a further investigation, and so he will certainly miss the second leg of their Champions League tie with Arsenal’s London neighbours Chelsea.

“At a time when Paris Saint-Germain must remain focused on key dates, the management of the club must keep the professional group free of any potential trouble and has decided that Serge Aurier will be available to the CFA [second team] as of Monday February 29 until Sunday March 20 inclusive,” the statement read.

“At the same time, the player has offered to perform various actions for Paris Saint-Germain’s Club Foundation.

“While he hopes to soon celebrate with his supporters a fourth French title in a row, the club wishes to reaffirm its full confidence in his coach, his staff and his players.”

The potential transfer certainly looks something of a gamble for the Gunners as this isn’t the first time Aurier has been in trouble. In another video onslaught, he called referee Bjorn Kuipers a ‘dirty son of a bitch’ after he sent off Ibrahimovic in a Champions League tie; leading to a three-match ban. This 23-year-old is clearly something of a maverick.

Blanc was heavily critical of his defender in the immediate aftermath, and despite Aurier’s apologies the French manager said that he will ‘suffer the consequence’ for his ‘pathetic’ actions.

He will now miss six of his side’s matches as they attempt to progress to the last eight of the Champions League and secure successive Ligue 1 titles.
 

Serge Aurier playing a starring role in Paris Saint Germain’s bright start to the season

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Paris Saint-Germain are enjoying a fantastic start to the new French Ligue 1 season, and the incredible form of right-back Serge Aurier has been one of many factors. The 22-year-old has been a standout start for the Blues, and his stock is rising to new heights every week. Aurier signed from Toulouse on a permanent deal this summer with the reputation of being a highly-attacking fullback who can create goals, as well a showcasing a real combative nature to his defending.

He suffered an injury-hit debut season at the Parc des Princes, making just 12 league starts for the champions. Despite the sporadic game time for Paris Saint-Germain in 2014/15, Aurier showed the supporters what to expect in the coming years. He was outstanding for his former side Toulouse, and had a lot of interest in his services when news broke of his availability. Arsenal were one side who came close to securing his services, but PSG won the race.

Arsenal’s loss is certainly PSG’s gain too, with Aurier having been on fire in 2015/16. He’s made seven league appearances this season, averaging a tackle or interception every 12 minutes, while creating a chance per game on average, as well as attempting almost two dribbles a game. Aurier has a penchant to beat his opposite marker out wide to get into a crossing position.

Boasting excessive pace, composure in possession and high levels of industry, the Ivorian is a perfect modern-day fullback. Still only young, he’s sure to generate interest from the elite European sides if he can continue such form in the league and Europe this season. Teammate Thiago Silva has lavished the talented fullback with praise, and believes Aurier has already developed in a short space of time.

“Physically he’s very strong and technically I think he’s developed a lot this year. I think Serge and a lot of players in this team have a lot of confidence at the moment and that’s why we’ve had a very good start to the season,” said Silva. The 22-year-old is looking an inspired signing, and manager Laurent Blanc revealed how keen the club were to make the defender theirs last year.

Aurier has made a real name for himself this season, and will be attracting more interest from the best sides in Europe as things stand. Fewer fullbacks can boast such attacking quality and defensive attributes, and considering PSG paid just £7M for the right-back, he’s been a steal for the Parisians.