The worryingly familiar weaknesses of £8m Arsenal target Aurier

Eboue

Reports suggest that Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Toulouse defender Serge Aurier, but does he compare unfavourably to an ex-Gunner?

Arsenal are in dire need of a top right back with long-serving incumbent Bacary Sagna poised to leave the club on a free transfer upon the expiration of his contract. Manchester City have already announced that the Frenchman is heading to the Etihad Stadium this summer, leaving Gunners boss Arsene Wenger with a big hole to fill in his defence.

Whereas usually a number of players would be suggested as potential replacements, there hasn't really been any wavering from the rumour that Ivorian international Aurier will be heading from Ligue 1 to the Emirates Stadium. In fact, Aurier's impressive displays at the World Cup have seemingly pushed Arsenal into making a firm offer, with reports over the weekend suggesting that Wenger had agreed a deal to land Aurier.

The 21-year-old is an exciting capture given his performances in Brazil over the past week, and appears to be a suitable replacement for Sagna - but there are some concerning traits that could see Aurier compared to previous Arsenal right back and regular scapegoat Emmanuel Eboue.

Eboue, 31, is a fellow Ivorian who possessed all the physical attributes to be a top player, but was positionally questionable in defence. He was certainly better going forward than defensively, and the countless defensive errors made him far from a fan's favourite in North London.

Aurier will seemingly arrive at Arsenal aged 21, the same age as when Eboue signed, and he's already shown some of the same frailties defensively as Eboue. Going forward, Aurier has been excellent, supplying two outstanding crosses for goals against Japan. Aurier's versatility to play further forward as a wing back or a right sided midfielder is also reminiscent of Eboue - but there appears to be one main difference.

Many of Eboue's issues stemmed from mental mistakes either in possession or defensively, but Aurier has already shown that there is potential from that aspect. Having made eight interceptions in two games - the fourth most in the World Cup - Aurier has flashed the ability to grow into a more defensive role at Arsenal. Wenger just needs to make sure that ability becomes more consistent.

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