Having joined Tottenham Hotspur as an ambitious full-back, the hope was that Serge Aurier could mature into a player of consistency. In France, the player was seen as talented but problematic, with various attitude-related issues leading to an eventual exit from Paris Saint-Germain. Since arriving at Spurs, he has performed inconsistently, going from impressive to erratic on a weekly basis. Despite obvious talent, there has been a reason why Aurier has only been involved in 11 Premier League games so far this year. And it is those reasons that might see the Ivorian heading for pastures new.
The incident stems from the 3-1 loss against Liverpool when Aurier is reported to have stormed out of the stadium. Having played regularly under Jose Mourinho since the Portuguese arrived, keeping his position even with the recruitment of fellow right-back Matt Doherty, it was expected Aurier would stay. However, his furious response to being substituted in the home defeat to the Reds has seemingly left Mourinho furious.
The player is believed to have reacted aggressively to the news of his substitution, leaving the stadium afterwards. Teammates are said to have been surprised at the strength of the outburst, with the player otherwise performing well and staying consistent on the park. It is his off-the-field issues, though, which has led to considerable concern about whether the player has the ability to play for a Mourinho side.
The Portuguese is famed for his tough-love approach to management and expects players to fall in line. When they fail to react to his challenges, they are often jettisoned from the first-team picture. With Aurier a key piece of the Mourinho puzzle until now. Considering that the player has previously delivered with surprising consistency, Aurier's reaction after being substituted versus Liverpool and his falling out with Mourinho was a shock.
Will Aurier be sold this summer?
Given the player has 18 months to go on his deal, down to a year come the summer of 2021, it is very likely he will be sold. The previous form had actually made it likely that a contract extension would be offered, but that now appears to be unlikely. For Spurs, the desire to keep the player will be equally challenged by the immature response to a tactical substitution.
It could also have an impact on the summer spending, with the club now likely having to search for a second full-back on the right-hand side to cover for Aurier. Despite impressing in regular spurts with Spurs, it looks like he might be unable to keep his position much longer. Mourinho isn’t known to give players many chances after an outburst like this. With the manager also having considerable sway with the club management, it is likely that he could have the final say on whether or not Aurier is kept around.
For Spurs fans, it would be an unimpressive end to a player who has managed to win over many fans with his aggressive, passionate style. While the aggression might win fans in the stands, it is unlikely to endear him to teammates or management following another clash of personalities.