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Tottenham should learn Aurier lesson and resist buying Layvin Kurzawa

The Frenchman is being linked with a summer move to the Lilywhites.

Max Cohen

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Layvin Kurzawa
Photo: Getty Images

Reports this week in France from RMC Sport have linked Paris Saint Germain left-back Layvin Kurzawa with a summer move to Tottenham Hotspur, as Mauricio Pochettino looks to strengthen his side after the anticipated departure of Danny Rose.

But the purchase of the French fullback would prove to be an expensive mistake, just like the signing of Serge Aurier was last summer.

Tottenham already have a brilliant left-sided fullback in the form of Welshman Ben Davies, a player who was desperately unlucky to miss out on the PFA Team of the Year after an outstanding season.

Davies has contributed two goals and six assists for Spurs this season, an impressive attacking outlay for a defender.

Perhaps more importantly, he has stood out with his solid defensive performances, which have led the north London club to concede the third-fewest goals in the Premier League.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

It is clear that Spurs already possess a top quality left back; there is no need to splash unnecessary funds to secure Kurzawa in the offseason.

Tottenham should have learned their lesson from the poor signing of Serge Aurier from the French champions in August 2017. The Ivory Coast international has been limited to just 16 first team league appearances thus far, often playing second fiddle to Kieran Trippier.

And when Aurier has played, he has been erratic and inconsistent. He has picked up a multitude of bookings and has been sent off once, as well as conceding numerous penalties with poorly-timed challenges.

Aurier cost Spurs a hefty £23 million in the summer, and it is to be expected Kurzawa will be in a similar price range. Tottenham would be wise to learn from their previous mistake and pass on the transfer of the French fullback.

Already retaining the services of a world-class defender in the same position, the multimillion-pound signing of the PSG man would prove to be a pricey waste that would only disrupt team chemistry.

Max is an 18-year-old football journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football, is an avid follower of Fulham, and co-hosts a weekly Fulham podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Barcelona

Who are the five most valuable players under the age of 21?

Jake Jackman

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The CIES Football Observatory have produced a list of the 100 most valuable players under the age of 21 and it makes for interesting reading, with three Premier League players in the top five.

CIES are a research group based within the International Centre for Sports Studies. It was created in 2005 and has looks to specialise in the statistical analysis of football, which is a growing field within the sport.

A lot of their studies are based in the financial side of the game and given the continued increase of transfer fees, they produce a lot of information that is of interest to clubs.

This particular study focuses on the top five leagues and it won’t come as a surprise that the Premier League features heavily.

Here are the five most valuable under-21 players according to the CIES study:

5 – Marcus Rashford (€116.7 million)

Amid all the spending that Manchester United have done in recent seasons, the value of producing your own players through your academy continues to be shown in the Manchester United squad. It is important to their supporters to have homegrown players and Marcus Rashford is one of the best that they have produced in recent seasons. According to CIES, he is already worth more than £100 million and it is remarkable to think that he may not have been given a chance if it wasn’t for injuries to Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial.

It has been a good start to the season for Marcus Rashford as he continues to get significant minutes, despite the arrival of Romelu Lukaku. Across the Premier League and Champions League, he has contributed six goals and four assists. His goal involvement is one every 113.8 minutes. Considering he has been used in various positions and not played every week, this is impressive. United need to continue showing faith in him. If they do, the sky is the limit.

4 – Ousmane Dembele (€120.4 million)

The French winger made headlines during the summer, as he was selected to be the replacement for Neymar at Barcelona. There is a lot of pressure on the 20-year-old to live up to his price tag, which was £135.5 million. There were clauses included in the deal, but the overall value is more than the £120.4 million that he has been estimated at by CIES. However, there were circumstances driving that. Namely, the desperate position of Barcelona.

Last season, he was one of the best players in the Bundesliga as he contributed eight goals and 18 assists across the two major competitions. His goal involvement was one every 108.2 minutes, which underlines why Barcelona were keen to buy him this season. An injury has hindered him at the beginning of his La Liga career, but he remains one of the most exciting young players in the game.

3 – Leroy Sane (€124.5 million)

The £37 million that Manchester City paid for the German international is looking more and more like a bargain with every passing day. CIES value the winger at €124.5 million and that underlines the improvement he has made under Pep Guardiola. He is now one of the most devastating attackers in the Premier Leaguer and it will be fascinating to see how much further he can go, as he is only 21.

His record in the Premier League this season has been remarkable and he is well on his way to contributing at least ten goals and ten assists. Sane is already on six goals and six assists, with a goal involvement every 78.75 minutes. The quality of the team helps him, but his own performances have contributed significantly to the success of City.

2 – Dele Alli (€180.2 million)

It has been a difficult start to the new season for Dele Alli, but he remains one of the most exciting players in the world. In the list of these five players, the England international is the most attainable for the biggest clubs in Europe, as Tottenham have the lowest chance of winning major trophies. It will take a huge fee to secure the midfielder and the valuation of €180.2 million from CIES is around the fee that Spurs would expect.

Since joining Tottenham as a teenager, he has been a revelation and scored 28 goals during his first two Premier League seasons. This season has been harder as he has only three goals in 15 matches, but he was always going to go through a drop-off in form at some point. The test will be how he recovers. The next few months will show us how far Alli can go in the game.

1- Kylian Mbappe (€182.8 million)

The valuation from CIES is fractionally higher than the reported fee that PSG will pay for the teenager next summer when his transfer is made permanent. He was a revelation last season and played a major role in Monaco winning Ligue 1 and reaching the Champions League semi-finals. PSG have made the move to sign him and he could become the best player in the world at the club if he is managed correctly.

This season hasn’t been as eye-catching as his debut season in senior football, but he has been very impressive still, especially when his age is taken into consideration. He has contributed nine goals and seven assists across the two major competitions, with a goal involvement of 86.5 minutes. This is incredible, but there have been some critics as he isn’t as noticeable playing alongside Edinson Cavani and Neymar. He is clearly the best young player in the world and this list from CIES reflects that.

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PSG

How Twitter reacted to Tottenham’s signing of defender Serge Aurier from Paris Saint-Germain

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Serge Aurier

Tottenham’s summer transfer window seems to be hitting full flow with less than a day until the deadline as the north London side confirmed that Serge Aurier has signed from Paris Saint-Germain.

The 24-year-old right-back will join Mauricio Pochettino’s side on a five-year deal in a move BBC Sport believe will set Spurs back around £23 million, becoming their fourth arrival in the space of seven days.

There had been fears that a move for Aurier was in jeopardy as Tottenham waited to hear from the Home Office about whether the Ivorian would receive a UK work visa, following a conviction last year for assaulting police officers in the French capital, but his work permit has been granted in time to complete a move before the deadline.

Talking about his move to Tottenham, Aurier said:

“This is a huge and exciting opportunity at a massive football club and I am determined to prove myself”.

The 24-year-old managed 81 appearances across all competitions for PSG since arriving from fellow French outfit Toulouse in 2014, helping them secure back-to-back Ligue 1 and Coupe de France titles.

Aurier had taken to social media on Wednesday afternoon to tease a move…

Before Tottenham confirmed the £23million switch on Thursday…

And it’s fair to say Tottenham fans were just a little thrilled by the addition…

With supporters of rivals clubs even conceding that it’s a great signing…

And some Spurs fans had already forgotten about Kyle Walker…

Others are still waiting for potential further arrivals later on today…

But either way, it seems that the optimism has returned to the white side of north London…

What do you think Tottenham fans? Is Aurier the signing of the summer? Let us know below.

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Arsenal

Would PSG’s Julian Draxler statistically be a good replacement if Alexis Sanchez leaves Arsenal?

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Draxler

Arsenal fans will be wondering when they can wake up from the nightmare ending to the summer transfer window, and it could get worse with the future of Alexis Sanchez hanging by a tiny thread.

BBC Sport reported on Tuesday evening that Manchester City have submitted an opening offer of £50 million for the Chilean forward – an offer rejected by Arsenal – but it’s expected they will return.

And the Mirror have claimed that the only way that Sanchez will be allowed to leave the Emirates over the course of the day would be if a move for Paris Saint-Germain’s Julian Draxler could be done. But with Sanchez so influential last season, how does the German international compare to him?

Industry in the opposition third

It’s hard to argue against the fact that, had it not been for Sanchez last season, then Arsenal would have finished much lower down the table than fifth and manager Arsene Wenger would not still be in London.

And part of the Chilean’s influence was just how busy he was in the final third, constantly working hard and roaming in-between the midfield and defensive lines, and it shows in his season’s statistics.

He made an average of 43.18 passes per match in the Premier League in comparison to Draxler’s tally of 31.24 – although it’s worth noting Draxler made five of his 17 appearances from the bench.

Yet the 23-year-old German international completed a higher percentage of his passes (85%) over the course of the season and there’s no doubt he could bring a similar level of productivity to Arsenal.

Producing the end product

With Sanchez being the main man at the Emirates last season – and realistically the only potent threat in front of goal aside from target-man Olivier Giroud – it’s no surprise that he’s miles ahead on this one too.

Across the course of the season he averaged 0.63 goals per game, scoring 24 in just 38 league appearances, and add an average of 0.26 assists per match and his importance shows even clearer.

The PSG forward doesn’t lag too far behind however with 0.24 goals per game, creating just less than two clear-cut chances per match in Ligue 1, and it’s not a bad return considering he only managed 1011 minutes of football in the French capital last year and was often restricted to cameo performances.

Although Draxler has been supposedly lined-up as a proposed Sanchez replacement, it’s key to remember that he’s more of a natural wide player whereas the Chilean was comfortable striking.

Should the speculation actually become a reality over the course of the day then Draxler would no doubt play on the left-wing, acting as support for Arsenal’s new record signing Alexandre Lacazette.

Defensive prowess

Yet one place where the PSG man comes into his own is when it comes to taking on defensive responsibilities, averaging just less than one (0.71) interceptions per match at the French giants.

This tally, along with the fact he makes 0.24 defensive clearances per game, both trumps the Chilean’s number (0.63 and 0.13 respectively) and highlights the benefit that Draxler could bring at both ends of the pitch, especially if he would be utilised as a left-winger that can help track back.

Should he join, and should Wenger persist with his wing-back formation, then Draxler’s ability to defend would be such an underestimated asset and add something that Sanchez didn’t last season.

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