HE may only be 24 years old but Serge Aurier has already had more ups and downs than many a player has in their entire career.
Several off-field incidents have blighted the defender’s time with PSG but he is undoubtedly a fine defender and one that has won all he can in France.
However, following the arrival of Dani Alves, Aurier will be allowed to leave Paris this summer.
Aurier has agreed a five-year deal with Tottenham, but the transfer is pending on him being given Home Office approval. He is banned from entering the UK after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer in Paris.
Our friends at Football Whispers profile Aurier, who could become a bargain signing of an unnecessary headache for Spurs.
Who is Serge Aurier and where does he come from?
BORN in the Ivory Coast, the defender moved to France with his family when he was very young and began his football career north of the capital, just a stone’s throw from Charles de Gaulle airport.
Originally a centre-back, both he and his brother Christopher were snapped up by RC Lens when Aurier was 14 years old.
The northern club have one of the best academies in France and it helped the youngster make an early impact.
After making his debut against Saint-Etienne before he turned 17, he would go on to play part of a Lens defence that featured both he and former Manchester United transfer target and current Real Madrid star Raphael Varane.
It’s almost unthinkable that in 2011, as their bitter rivals Lille went on to be crowned champions, Lens would be relegated to Ligue 2.
Varane moved on, but the right-back would stay to help Les Sang-et-Or try and battle their way back to the top-flight.
However, in January 2012, with 16 games under his belt, Toulouse pounced to take Aurier back to Ligue 1.
It was in the Rose City were the Ivorian international really excelled.
In his third season with Le Tefece, coach Alain Casanova played a 3-5-2 formation and let Aurier explode forward as his right wing-back.
In 34 starts, the defender scored six times and added another six assists, making him one of the most dynamic players in France.
Arsenal were showing interest in the defender when he went to Brazil to represent his country in the 2014 World Cup.
It looked almost nailed on that he would become a Gunner, even telling a fan in the crowd it was a done deal.
Paris Saint-Germain had been watching him too, and before he could join Arsene Wenger in North London the French powerhouse jumped in and agreed an initial loan deal with Toulouse.
Included in the transfer was an option to buy the defender for €10million the following summer.
It looked a no brainer, but Aurier struggled to settle with the move back north. Dutch right-back Gregory van der Wiel, although far from perfect, challenged him for minutes and became Laurent Blanc’s first-choice.
Not that Aurier was a disaster, just more was expected from the player who had electrified at Toulouse.
PSG made the deal permanent and this seemed to spark the best out of the full-back again.
Back were his powerful runs forward and his all-action style. It seemed only like a matter of time before he was considered one of the best in his position.
How much will he cost?
ONE of the reasons that Aurier had been available this summer is the numerous incidents that have plagued his career since last February.
After a routine Ligue 1 win the defender took to social media to answer questions from his fans.
Perhaps unsure of how Periscope worked, Aurier would partake in slagging off his manager and team-mates in a bizarre lack of self-awareness.
PSG were none too pleased and after denying it was him – it was recorded live – he admitted his mistake and begun his penance.
Suspended from games for two months, the only reason he wasn’t sacked on the spot is the fact he was still a fantastic right-back.
Whipped into shape, he could still go on to be one of the greats.
Then last summer his behaviour made the headlines again when he allegedly attacked a police officer.
Made to spend a night in a cell, Aurier was sentenced to a two-month suspended jail sentence.
The player is still appealing that decision and it was that blemish on his record that made the UK Home Office reject his visa application when PSG were scheduled to take on Arsenal in the Champions League.
Now, linked with a £25million move to Old Trafford, despite his indiscretions, there is still an outstanding full-back in there.
While battling with Thomas Meunier for minutes last season, he started 21 times and added three assists.
The arrival of Dani Alves, plus the fact Aurier is younger than his Belgian team-mate, making him a valuable asset, has seen him fall down the pecking order to become the most sellable right-back at the club.
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