Three right-backs who could replace Serge Aurier at Tottenham Hotspur
Drew Goodsell | 5 August 2020
The Ivorian has been linked with a move to AC Milan
Tottenham Hotspur have been gifted with several Premier League-quality full-backs over the past few years, including the likes of Kyle Walker and Danny Rose to name a few.
After losing Walker to Manchester City in the summer of 2017, Kieran Trippier made the role his own before eventually sealing his own headline move to Atletico Madrid in July 2019.
Since then, Serge Aurier has been the first-choice right-back in N17 but just one season after Trippier upped and left the North Londoners, Aurier is linked with a move away too.
Should the Ivorian seal a summer move away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, recently being linked to AC Milan, we take a look at three potential replacements Spurs could sign.
Arguably one of the most impressive right-backs in the Premier League this season, Ricardo Pereira has taken to live at Leicester City incredibly well.
The 26-year-old Portuguese right-back signed from FC Porto in May 2018 has contributed to 20 clean sheets over his two seasons in the league, maintaining a tackle success rate of 57%.
His pace means he can keep up with the best of left -ided wingers, and patience in defence ensures he rarely makes mistakes to drop other teammates into danger.
For Spurs, it’s crucial that their right-backs can attack just as well as they can defend. Fortunately, Pereira can more than hold his own at both ends of the pitch.
In 65 appearances for the Foxes, he’s contributed five goals and eight assists, while averaging over 49 passes per match.
He’s not afraid to cross the ball into the box too, with 164 crosses to his name so far, with an accuracy of 15%. With Harry Kane’s prowess in the air, that accuracy could increase dramatically at Spurs.
With Leicester City in no need to sell, it’s not likely that the Portuguese man would come cheap. The Foxes paid around €25 million two seasons ago, and his stock is likely to have risen thanks to his consistent performances.
In a poor season for Norwich City, Max Aarons was one of their academy stars that shone bright throughout the season. He’s not adapted as well as the likes of Todd Cantwell and Ben Godfrey managed in their full campaigns, but you can see the talent is there.
The 20-year-old formed part of a back four which kept only five clean sheets all season long, conceding a staggering 71 goals in the process.
That’s not entirely down to Aarons though, who more than held his own in his debut season when tasked with some of the best wingers in the league.
Aarons was accredited with 48 tackles in his debut campaign, with a success rate of 63%, even higher than Pereira’s. He’s managed 37 interceptions and 73 clearances too, 2 of which came from the goal line, showing he’s got a great natural instinct for defending.
Though his stats don’t show it, Aarons caused problems going forward down the right flank too, overlapping as often as he could. His athleticism allowed him to track back quickly too, and could hold down the right-back role at and of the top six clubs for years to come.
A crossing accuracy of 22% from 73 attempts is good going, especially considering he was part of a side that scored the fewest goals in the Premier League too.
Norwich City sporting director Stuart Webber has already confirmed they’re not in a position where they need to sell players, and has warned off potential suitors from bidding low because of their relegation from the top flight.
He’s not expected to come cheap, and has previously been linked with a move abroad with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich rumoured to be keen.
He couldn’t come back and make the role his own again, could he? Kieran Trippier formed part of an Atletico Madrid side who finished third in this season’s La Liga campaign, 17 points adrift of city rivals and champions Real Madrid.
At 29, he’s perhaps not got the level of career longevity you’re investing in when you look at Pereira and Aarons in particular, but he’s got the experience.
Not only does he already know the Premier League well, but he knows the club from his previous spell, and he fits the mould perfectly for a Jose Mourinho-style right-back.
He’s got 107 top-flight appearances to his name, with 28 clean sheets in that time too. He’s averaged a staggering 67% tackle completion rate, while maintaining a 26% cross success rate from 711 attempts.
Trippier found great crossing success in his previous spell with Spurs, finding the forehead of Kane on several occasions. He managed 18 assists for the club, while scoring two goals of his own too.
Despite being a regular in the side, Diego Simeone could be tempted to offload the English right-back with a ready-made replacement, Colombian Santiago Arias waiting in the wings.
Trippier wouldn’t be the one to go for if you’re looking towards the future, but Mourinho has a habit of signing temporary fixes across his career. Should Aurier leave, he could be a relatively cheap plaster to fill the void.
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