Serge Aurier claims he was the most influential defender in Ligue 1 before leaving Paris Saint-Germain to join Tottenham, and says the French club did not respect his “true worth”.
Aurier was a controversial figure at the Parc des Princes, most recently receiving a suspended two-month jail sentence for assaulting a police officer outside a Paris nightclub.
But the Ivory Coast international, who joined Spurs in a deadline-day deal, insists too much is made of his off-the-field conduct.
“I wanted a new life because PSG didn’t respect my true worth,” Aurier said ahead of his potential Premier League debut against Everton on Saturday. “They dwelt on other matters beside football.
“Statistically speaking, I am the most influential defender in Ligue 1 between 2013 and now. I have also won nine trophies with PSG. There are more striking things about my career than what happened off the field, but this is what they preferred to linger over.
“I feel free now. PSG offered me a new three-year deal, but I have left them for a new adventure. I turned them down for a number of reasons. I want to discover a new way of life.
“I got on well with everyone at the club – bosses, players, coaches and fans – and the proof comes from the fact they wanted to keep me. But I had to think of myself. It is a personal decision.
“I had some business with the police that was blown up by the media in Europe. Normally when a matter goes on for a year or more they move on to something else. But in my case there was far too much of a fuss. If I hadn’t been mentally strong I would have cracked up.
“I could have stayed another year or two. PSG’s president Nasser Al-Khelaifi is like a second father to me and the team is like a family. I hurt some people with my decision to leave, but that is life. I wanted to see a new world.”
— Serge Aurier (@Serge_aurier) 1 September 2017
Aurier added money was not his primary concern when he opted to make the switch to Tottenham, where he will replace Kyle Walker after his move to Manchester City.
“Tottenham are an ambitious club who play good football and often finishes around the top of the Premier League,” Aurier said. “I have always dreamed of playing in England and I have seized the opportunity that has come my way.
“I am 24 and have many seasons still ahead of me. It’s now down to me to fight, improve and enjoy some great times with my new club.
“My salary is of little importance. I want to be with a club where I can have fun. If money was my main interest I swear that I’d have stayed in Paris. They offered me a very interesting contract – more so than the first one.
“But I have signed a five-year deal with Tottenham so I can experience new things and become one of the best right-backs in the world. And with God’s blessing I will achieve my aim.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!