When Tottenham signed Matt Doherty last Summer, Spurs fans may have been forgiven for assuming it would be the end of Serge Aurier in a Lilywhite shirt.
Doherty was signed from Wolves for around £15 million (Evening Standard) and the move seemed to pave the way for Aurier to be linked with a move to a host of other clubs. AC Milan were one of the biggest clubs to be linked with the Ivorian (Football London).
However, Aurier has been rewarded for his stay this season as Jose Mourinho has utilised him regularly in the Premier League, especially in games against the big six.
The right-back certainly seems to be much more assured in defence when compared to other seasons, while remaining potent in attack.
As for Doherty, it can be said that the Irishman has struggled to adapt to a back-four so far. in North London after spending several years playing in a back-five under Nuno Espirito Santo.
In a recent interview ahead of Spurs’ draw against Fulham, Aurier described how the addition of Doherty to the squad has made him hungrier for more game-time (Football London).
Aurier said: “I didn’t start the first few games of the season – now I have played a few games in the last few months. So, I didn’t start the season in the team, but that is what I like. I never give up,”
“When I don’t play, I stay calm. Of course, I am hungry because I want to play, and I know my opportunity is coming. I have to be ready for that – that is always the situation.
“I don’t begin a season believing that I am first choice – that might be the case, it might not be. But I always give my best and try to change the manager’s mind. I like that challenge. It is always a big challenge for me.
“We have a good fight, strong competition in the team. Matt is a good player, so we have a good battle. We just stay calm. If the other plays, you just have to give your support to them. But there is good competition between us and that is good for the team.
“You see why we are near the top of the league because everyone is giving their best. When you are not fit or not performing on the pitch, there will be a change.
“We have many good players in this squad and we know that if the gaffer does make a change, another player of good quality will come in because of the strength of the squad.”
Spurs Web Opinion:
The addition of Matt Doherty has certainly paved the way for Aurier to improve in the Tottenham team. Such fear of losing a place in the starting eleven certainly adds to the drive of the players and Mourinho seems to have reaped the rewards in the case of Aurier.
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