Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc was in no mood to talk up Serge Aurier’s return to the first team and feels those who shone in the right-back’s absence deserve to be the centre of attention instead.
Aurier recently returned to the first team after he was previously banished to the reserves as punishment for insulting Blanc and a number of team-mates on Periscope back in February.
Blanc was quick to stress PSG had little trouble coping without the 23-year-old, though, and hinted the defender will not be reinstated to the starting XI automatically.
“Aurier could play, because he is part of the group. I am taking him into consideration, just like all the other players. If I think he deserves to play, then he will play,” Blanc said at a news conference.
“He has been reintegrated into the team, he returned to the first team on Thursday. We have watched his performances with the reserves and he is now back in the first team, like we had planned.
“I would like to point out that we did not need him in the Champions League last season, and neither did we need him against Chelsea. That shows the strength of this squad. Instead of giving importance to a player who insulted his coach, we should be talking about those who helped the team qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals.”
PSG take on Nice on Saturday as they resume Ligue 1 action after the international break, but they will be without Javier Pastore and Marco Verratti due to injury, while Angel Di Maria is doubtful.
“There are some problems with Di Maria, who took a kick to the shin on international duty and has not trained yet,” Blanc added.
“Pastore has a serious problem with his calves. One time it’s the right one, then the left one. He has been working on his recovery, but things are not looking good for the game against Nice.
“Verratti remains in a good mood and is dealing with his situation very well. He is happy because he is on his way back. He had trouble walking at some point, so we hope that pain will not return.”