Serge Aurier has been talking about his move to Tottenham Hotspur from PSG on transfer deadline day.
The 24-year-old right-back has been on international duty with the Ivory Coast since penning his deal as part of the £23m signing from the Ligue 1 outfit.
He arrives at Spurs with some baggage, with a number of controversies and bans from football in recent seasons. He was also convicted for assaulting a police officer, a charge he is appealing and the club had to wait to see whether the Home Office would allow him a visa to work in the UK after he was denied entry last season for PSG’s Champions League match at Arsenal.
Now he has spoken to cafonline.com – the official website for the African Football Confederation about Spurs and his exit from PSG.
Here are the questions and answers:
Serge Aurier expressed the desire to leave Paris Saint-Germain and since August 31, it’s done …
I am morally liberated. I left the PSG who had offered me a new three-year contract for another adventure. I refused for various reasons. I want to discover another life because in Paris, I was not respected at my true value. We dwelt on many details, we thought more about something else than the footballer. In terms of statistics, of all defenders of the French Ligue 1 championship, from 2013 until today, I am the most decisive. I also won nine titles with the PSG. It is to say that there are more significant things in my career, but they preferred to dwell on what happened outside the stadiums. At the club, I got along well with everyone: leaders, players, coaches and supporters. As proof, the club still held on to me, but I had to think of myself.
Be more explicit. What are the real motivations for your departure from Paris?
I had a deal with the police which was amplified by the European press. Normally, when a case lasts a year or more, it turns the page. But in my case, there was too much fuss. If I were not morally strong, I would have cracked. I could have stayed one or two years for President Al Khelaïfi whom I consider a spiritual father and the whole team of the PSG as a family, but (…). By deciding to leave, I had to hurt people, but life is so done. I want to discover another world. However, I will never forget the PSG and I wish him success in the Champions League behind which he has been running for a long time.
And the Tottenham Challenge …
Tottenham is an ambitious club that enjoys a good game and often ends up among the best of the English championship. I always dreamed of playing in England and I knew how to seize the chance offered to me. I am 24 years old and have several years of football still on the pitch. I now have to fight, progress and live great moments with my new club.
From a treatment point of view, are you satisfied?
The salary counts little. Today, I want to be in a club where I have to have fun, to have fun. If I had privileged the financial aspect, I confess that I would have stayed in Paris where the contract that was proposed to me was very interesting. More interesting than the first. I signed a five-year contract in Tottenham to experience other sensations and remain one of the best lateral rights in the world. With the blessing of God, I will succeed.