Arsene Wenger have already begun the transfer reinforcements for next season with Serge Aurier, a right-back for Toulouse, set to sign for Arsenal in the coming days.
The Ivorian has been a stand-out individual in Ligue 1 this season and it is interesting to see just how good a defender Arsene Wenger’s men seem to be getting.
Comparing him to the Premier League’s finest right-backs, Aurier seems to be a fantastic individual who has just come off a remarkable campaign.
The Toulouse man has performed more interceptions (75) than Pablo Zabaleta (70), Seamus Coleman (47), Bacary Sagna (51) and Branislav Ivanovic (38). Defensively he is solid and exactly what the Gunners will need with Bacary Sagna’s impending departure. He has completed 10 blocks, the highest out of all the right-backs – level with Pablo Zabaleta.
He is no stranger to going forward with his galloping runs forward becoming a familiar trait of his game in France. The Ivory Coast international is potent in the attacking-third, creating 32 chances this season, level with Zabaleta and only bettered by Everton’s Player of the Season, Seamus Coleman (45).
Aurier also boasts the highest Squawka Defence Score out of all the full-backs, coupling all his achievements at the back this season into one figure – impressive for a side who finished 9th in Ligue 1.
While many may point to the fact Aurier has shone in a faltering French outfit languishing in mid-table, the right-back is still capable of holding his own against the world’s finest right-backs.
With Arsenal a clear step up from Toulouse, Champions League football would become a new fixture for Aurier next season and he will be expected to compete against the world’s best wingers. So how has he fared against the best full-backs in the game?
Aurier’s 75 interceptions is the highest (75) among Dani Alves (54), Phillip Lahm (37) and Pablo Zabaleta (70). The Ivory Coast international also has a final product and his marauding runs forward have resulted in 6 assists, level with Zabaleta, and more than Germany’s best in Lahm, as well as the eccentric Dani Alves. What is even more impressive is that Aurier has created fewer chances (32) than all of them, level with Zabaleta again, meaning he only produces the key pass when it presents itself and his accuracy is more productive.
Frighteningly, Aurier’s defensive score is a comprehensive victory over the other full-backs, which poses the question as to why the right-back has not been highlighted as much this season. With the plaudits being directed at Lahm’s new versatility in his ‘quarter-back’ role and Zabaleta inspiring Manchester City to the title, Aurier seems to have gone about his work rather quietly. Expect the Ivorian to impress at the World Cup as well, with Les Elephants boasting a well-rounded squad in a competitive group containing Columbia, Japan and Greece. You can back the Ivory Coast to win the group at 7/2 thanks to the football bets online at William Hill.
Aurier is also a tough-tackler and his robust nature means he comes off best more times than not. He has won 275 of his duels this season, the fourth-highest out of every defender in the Top 5 European Leagues, a remarkable feat.
The Toulouse man has not been the subject of much attention, but if Arsenal manage to pull off the coup of the Ivory Coast full-back then they will have purchased one of the stars of the season. Arsene Wenger may have pulled one out of the hat.