Friday, August 17, 2018

Serge Aurier & Manchester United – Is Controversial Right-Back Worth All the Risk?

Is Serge Aurier worth all the risk for Manchester United?

Manchester United and Serge Aurier is not a new love story.

The Red Devils fans will not have first heard about the rumour this summer. Ivorian full-back has already been linked with a move to Old Trafford. Highly respectable news outlet L’Equipe first broke the news as early as April when the 24-year-old first emerged as a target for Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese clearly nurtures a long-standing interest in out-of-sorts Paris Saint-Germain defender and will be well-aware with both Aurier’s qualities and the liability he represents.

So the logical question remains – Is Serge Aurier really worth the risk?

Jose Mourinho will have based his decision upon a thorough research on the French defender and if he gave his nod then who are we to doubt his judgement. But as neutral observers, some of us will still have our eyebrows raised at the prospect of such a controversial figure joining what is becoming a well-balanced Manchester United side.

Serge Aurier Qualities

It was back in 2013/14 season in Ligue 1 when Serge Aurier really began to draw attention to himself thanks to impressive performances that got him shortlisted for the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award.

A fantastic season at Toulouse was followed by notable performances for the Ivory Coast at the 2014 World Cup which ultimately got him a PSG deal. A rampant full-back who is well-equipped to slot into a traditional defending role at the right back can operate equally well in a more advanced wing back position thanks to his speed, agility and on-ball ability.

A tactically versatile footballer, Serge Aurier boasts great football knowledge and understanding which partially comes as a direct result of the fact he was used as a midfielder and a central defender at youth level.

His ability to transform from a defensive position into an attacking outlet adds great value upfront and present an important option in front of the goal.

Serge Aurier Controversy

The 24-year-old talents and qualities have frequently been shadowed by off-field transgressions which have done great harm to his career and international reputation.

Serge Aurier was backed to become an international top-class star by former PSG manager Laurent Blanc in April 2015 when he signed a permanent deal with the French giants and was expected to thrive under the stewardship of former France international.

Aurier replied to the trust invested in him by a homophobic slur towards his manager and a barrage of insult towards his PSG teammates – most notably Zlatan Ibrahimovic – which resulted in him being thrown out of the first team.

The Ivory Coast international also received a two-month prison sentence for his alleged violent outburst toward a French policeman outside a nightclub. The charge was appealed but the incident resulted in the player getting banned from entering the UK.

Serge Aurier was unable to travel to England for PSG’s 2-2 stalemate with Arsenal in November and will appear in front of a court on 7 August to find out whether his travel ban has been lifted.

Is Aurier Worth the Risk?

Clearly an unbalanced personality, Serge Aurier strikes me as a highly unreliable footballer.

His football qualities are well documented and the fact he is seven years Antonio Valencia’s junior makes him a potential long-term solution at right back for Manchester United. Jose Mourinho is clearly confident of his educational skills and powers since he is willing to add a loose cannon to his ranks.

The Portuguese tactician is not exactly desperate to add another right back, but with his team back in the Champions League and in full charge on the Premier League honours, Serge Aurier’s potential arrival could be a significant boost. Mourinho’s men are given 7/2 betting odds to finish the season top of the pack and lift the Premier League trophy at the end of the campaign.  

Manchester United and PSG outcast Serge Aurier are believed to have already come to terms on a personal level whereas Red Devils are expected to cough around £27 million to get him off PSG books.

Serge Aurier is under contract with Les Parisiens until 2019 but does not feature in Unai Emery’s plans for the new season, especially with Brazil right-back Dani Alves not at the Parc des Princes.

Would he be a good buy for Manchester United? Could he be trusted to succeed at Old Trafford?


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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