Tottenham Hotspur defender Serge Aurier played his first game of the season last weekend against Crystal Palace. It came after a frustrating summer where he could not secure a Spurs exit. But he is now back and in Mauricio Pochettino’s plans. The situation at Tottenham has changed since the summer. Pochettino was perhaps ready to let Aurier leave this summer but he will have changed his mind. The poor form of teammates Kyle Walker-Peters and Davinson Sanchez is playing perfectly into the hands of Aurier, who is timing his resurgence to perfection.
Pochettino decided to try Davinson Sanchez again in the right-back role against Olympiacos in the week as per Whoscored. The 23-year-old Colombian is naturally a centre-back and it showed. He struggled with both the defensive and attacking aspects of his role, as well as keeping his position.
Sanchez was also used at right-back against Arsenal in the North London derby. These two games have surely taught Pochettino one lesson: Sanchez is not a right-back.
Kyle Walker-Peters snubbed
Pochettino played Sanchez at right-back even though he had Kyle Walker-Peters in his squad. Walker-Peters started the first three Premier League games of the season and looked like he had the right-back spot nailed on.
But Aurier’s resurrection has pushed Walker-Peters back down the pecking order. Pochettino’s trust in the 22-year-old Englishman has diminished – as seen from his decision to leave him on the bench in midweek.
Teammates struggles is good news for Aurier – and at the right time
Both Sanchez’s struggles and the loss of faith in Walker-Peters have played into Aurier’s hands. The Ivorian defender produced a strong performance at Crystal Palace last weekend and he is surely in pole position to keep his place in the Premier League.
The loss of Kieran Trippier this summer, in truth, wasn’t met with universal anger from Spurs supporters. His performances last season left a lot to be desired with Pochettino occasionally turning to Ivorian right-back Serge Aurier who until this afternoon hadn’t played a single minute of Premier League football.
So, no better occasion to make up for lost time. The former Paris Saint-Germain would double the hosts lead by forcing Patrick van Aanholt to put the ball into his own net. Soon after his first-time cross was lashed home by Son.
Pochettino rested Aurier in the week so he will be fresh for the trip to Leicester this weekend. The 26-year-old can completely reignite his Spurs career by producing another good performance and becoming the regular starting right-back.
It remains to be seen just how lomg Aurier can keep his place in the starting lineup. Pochettino is well known for rotating fullbacks and is never shy to make a tweak or drop a player after one or two poor performances.
With the Champions League underway already as well as the Premier League, Carabao Cup and FA Cup still to come, the aforementioned trio might still see chances come their way. But of course, if things continue the way they are, Aurier would definitely make himself the first choice option and would be the candidate for more “crucial games”.