Paris Saint-Germain have made another move to upgrade their defence by adding Toulouse right-back Serge Aurier.
Manager Laurent Blanc confirmed the 21-year-old player's transfer, via Get French Football:
The club later confirmed the deal in a release on their website. PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi declared his delight at the signing:
Serge Aurier, one of the most promising young players in world football, courted by the biggest clubs, has chosen Paris Saint-Germain to continue to shine on the European stage. We are delighted to welcome this young player into our team.
Aurier himself returned the compliment, hinting at his excitement at the move:
To play for Paris Saint-Germain, with the exceptional players this club has, is a dream come true. I will give my maximum to help the club reach the summits. After taking part in the World Cup for the first time, I am having a fantastic summer. I would like to thank the club for the confidence they have shown in me.
Robin Bairner of Goal.com reports on an interesting factor in his deal:
After spending time at Lens in Ligue 2, Aurier transferred to Toulouse before the 2012-13 season. In the past two years, he has continued to grow as someone who can contribute at both ends of the pitch. He knows how to make key tackles while also providing a big boost on the attack.
This past season, the young player totaled six goals and six assists while spending time at centre-back, right-back and defensive midfield for the mid-table club.
Aurier will replace Christophe Jallet, who recently made a move to Lyon, confirmed by the club earlier on Wednesday.
Over the summer, Aurier continued to show his ability as part of the Ivory Coast national team. His best performance came against Japan, when he was named Man of the Match by WhoScored.com:
Serge Aurier: MotM vs Japan, Rating 8.7, Key passes 3, Assists 2, Interceptions 6 pic.twitter.com/p2h2oVwX16— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 15, 2014
Sam Crocker of ESPN FC explained after the match that "his never-ceasing willingness to get stuck in and join up with the attacks was a true joy to behold."
This made it no surprise that big clubs around the world were interested in signing the talented youngster. He explained that he almost went to Arsenal before the club filled the spot with French national Mathieu Debuchy, via Get French Football:
Serge Aurier: "There was an approach from Arsenal + I wanted to go there, but it didn't happen. I am very happy for Mathieu Debuchy." #AFC— Get French Football (@GFN_France) July 21, 2014
Aurier then hinted at a move to PSG thanks to a Snapchat:
Jonathan Johnson of ESPN FC later confirmed Aurier was undergoing a physical with the club:
It turns out this is exactly where he will end up, joining an elite back line that already includes Brazilian centre-backs David Luiz and Thiago Silva. He will likely replace Jallet at right-back, but Aurier's versatility could allow him to spend time at other positions on the pitch.
No matter where he plays, it is clear PSG have picked up someone who will make a big impact this season and beyond. The reigning Ligue 1 champions will not only have a good chance to defend their title, but they should be top contenders in the Champions League as well.
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