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Thursday, 21 September 2017

Aurier to enjoy fresh start at Spurs: Pochettino

AFP , Thursday 7 Sep 2017
Serge Aurier
Tottenham ivorian fullback Sege Aurier (Photo: AFP)
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Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino said Thursday he is confident new signing Serge Aurier will seize his chance after the player was dogged by disciplinary problems at Paris Saint-Germain.

The talented Ivorian right-back joined Spurs for £23 million ($30 million, 25 million euros) from PSG on transfer deadline day last week.

The deal was held up as Spurs' request for a work permit was complicated by the suspended two-month prison sentence Aurier received after an assault on a police officer outside a Paris nightclub in May 2016.

The 24-year-old was also suspended by PSG last year for making a homophobic slur against former coach Laurent Blanc in a social media video.

Pochettino, speaking at the club's training centre in north London, places a strong emphasis on discipline but said he trusts Aurier to take his second chance.

"I spoke with him, of course, about different things but I'm a person that likes to move on," Pochettino said ahead of his team's Premier League match against Everton on Saturday.

"I think it was good, we had a long chat. He knows very well how we are, what we expect from him and for us it's so important, not only him, every player, how they behave here in the squad.

"We need to keep the dynamic we have created. I trust him, I am confident that he can succeed here and help the team to achieve the things we want.

As well as Aurier, Tottenham signed Fernando Llorente from Swansea and Pochettino believes the 32-year-old will bring a winning mentality to his young squad.

Llorente has won the World Cup and European Championship with Spain, as well as the Europa League at Sevilla and three Serie A titles with Juventus.

"First of all he's a great professional. He's a world champion -- he won the World Cup with Spain - and that is the mentality that can translate to us with the experience of winning big things," Pochettino said.

"It's not easy to have the facility to sign players like Llorente. It was an amazing chance for us and I think it's fantastic he decided to sign for us."

Tottenham's England star Dele Alli is still waiting to hear if he will face disciplinary action from FIFA after the midfielder was caught sticking his middle finger up during the national side's win over Slovakia on Monday.

Alli said after the match the gesture had been directed as a joke at teammate Kyle Walker.

"I'm not worried," Pochettino said. "It's true it's not a fantastic gesture but it's not a big issue. It was a joke in a moment with his team-mate. I don't think it'll be a big issue with FIFA or with us."

Alli, 21, has had a number of run-ins with the football authorities and has faced calls to curb his fiery temperament.

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