Levy squandered a fortune on “erratic” £23m dud
Tottenham Hotspur are currently reaping the rewards of what proved to be a relatively smooth summer of business despite the sale of talisman Harry Kane, with Ange Postecoglou’s new additions helping to contribute to an unbeaten start to the new Premier League season.
Such astute dealings in the transfer market – including arguably the “signing of the summer” in the form of James Maddison, as per TNT pundit Joe Cole – have not always been commonplace at N17 over the last decade or so, evidenced by the fact that two former club-record arrivals, Davinson Sanchez and Tanguy Ndombele, have both been shipped off to Turkish giants, Galatasaray.
The at-times scattergun approach of chairman Daniel Levy – which famously saw the ‘magnificent seven’ acquired following the sale of Gareth Bale – was also best illustrated with the signing and subsequent sale of polarising right-back, Serge Aurier.
How much did Tottenham pay for Aurier?
The Lilywhites had been searching for a new option at right-back following the departure of Kyle Walker to rivals Manchester City on a £50m deal, with Mauricio Pochettino seemingly keen to find a worthy competitor to Kieran Trippier in that defensive berth.
Amid that quest to find a Walker replacement, Levy and co looked the way of Aurier despite the string of misdemeanours that the Ivorian had carried out during his time at former club Paris Saint-Germain, notably insulting manager Laurent Blanc in March 2016, while also being convicted of elbowing a police officer just a few months later.
Despite that back catalogue of controversy, the north Londoners opted to splash out £23m in order to sign the full-back in the summer of 2017, having notably racked up 15 assists in just 81 games during his time at the Parc des Princes.
That deal quickly looked like something of a mistake for those of a Spurs persuasion, however, with the 5 foot 9 enigma proving rather “erratic” in truth, as described by pundit Teddy Sheringham following his club debut.
How much did Tottenham sell Aurier for?
Despite enjoying a solid record of eight goals and 17 assists in 110 appearances during his time in the capital, the former Toulouse man was something of a rash and reckless liability at times, notably earning two red cards while in a Tottenham jersey.
That ‘erratic’ nature was particularly evident during the 2021 Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City, with Aurier giving away the free-kick that led to the game’s decisive goal, following a needless foul on Raheem Sterling.
That incident – which saw his defending branded “criminal” by ex-Spurs man Michael Dawson – seemingly epitomised his time at the club as a whole, with Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher subsequently dubbing the one-time Lens asset as “one of the biggest liabilities in Premier League football”.
Following such a costly mistake, it was then no surprise that Aurier was moved on that summer amid the arrival of Emerson Royal, with Levy agreeing to terminate the player’s contract a year early, thus seeing him walk away for nothing.
Where is Serge Aurier now?
Despite the criticism that the 30-year-old received during his four-year spell at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – with Carragher branding him the type of player who would “put you off management” due to his “crazy decisions” – it only took 12 months for the experienced figure to return to English football, having joined newly-promoted Nottingham Forest last year after spending just a solitary season at Villarreal.
Bizarrely, it does look as if the £50k-per-week talent has proven a solid performer for the Tricky Trees after having been hailed as “a fantastic player with great quality” by teammate Chris Wood, following his brace of assists against Sheffield United earlier this season.
Across the last 365 days, he also ranks in the top 2% for both aerial duels won and clearances made among those in his position in Europe’s top five leagues, as well as in the top 11% for tackles made, illustrating that perhaps improvements have been made to his defensive game under Steve Cooper.
Those strong showings at the City Ground will not, however, take away from Aurier’s wretched record in north London, with his 2017 signing having proved particularly costly both on the pitch and financially for Levy and co.
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