Darren Bent has savaged the recent performances of Tottenham defender Serge Aurier but says he has helped Mauricio Pochettino avoid an awkward conversation about his place in the side.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Spurs and England striker says that the Ivorian international was all over the place against Bayern Munich, just days after seeing himself sent off in the Premier League clash with Southampton.
The 26-year-old’s suspension meant he was unavailable to manager Pochettino for Saturday’s early kick-off with Brighton, the Seagulls pulling off a big upset with a 3-0 win on the south coast.
Bent says that it was a bit of a blessing in disguise for the manager that the right-back was forced to sit out after his midweek performance, blasting the defender’s recent form.
Bent told Football Insider: “Again, Serge Aurier and his defensive qualities, all over the place positionally and on the ball.
“Gnabry pretty much done what he wanted to him, ran past him and that is a real problem area. For Toby Alderweireld, on the right side of the centre-backs, it’s so hard for him because all the time now he’s left one-v-one.
“Serge is getting caught out of position. Pochettino hasn’t got to have that awkward conversation, at least now he can go: ‘I probably wouldn’t have picked you anyway but you’re suspended so you can’t play.'”
Aurier has played four times for the Lilywhites across all competitions this season, with Pochettino making use of no less than four players as a right-back already.
Saturday’s clash saw Moussa Sissoko step in as a makeshift option in defence, with Kyle Walker-Peters and Davinson Sanchez having also featured on the right-hand side.