Football’s relationship with social media possibly broke new ground yesterday, with Paris Saint-Germain’s new right-back Serge Aurier announcing his move to the Parc des Princes via Snapchat.
I don’t use Snapchat, but from what I understand it seems like the worst possible medium by which to communicate such a message, as whatever you send out disappears after a set period of time. Perhaps Aurier was unsure of whether to make the move to PSG, so decided to cover all bases in case he changed his mind.
Anyway, he’s here now, and having had a moan the other week about PSG not signing younger players, I’m obviously pretty chuffed. At 21, Aurier is one of the brightest prospects in Ligue 1, having come up through the academy at Lens before moving to Toulouse in the January 2012 transfer window. Capable of playing at centre-back as well as his normal right-back position, he’ll be a versatile asset to have in the squad.
I asked the good people behind the for a quick assessment on our new boy. Be sure to give them a follow if you’re that way inclined:
“He’s strong, fast, lots of stamina and runs until the end! He’s ok defensively, but as he is young and not very experienced he gets caught out of position sometimes. He still has a lot to learn but is a great young prospect who for a defender loves to gets forward scoring and assisting goals. A great asset to any team.”
“I will give my maximum to help the club reach the summits,” said Aurier, donning his crampons and sharpening his ice pick. “To play for Paris Saint-Germain, with the exceptional players this club has, is a dream come true.”
No mention of Dream Bigger? The marketing department must be on holiday. Aurier will take Christophe Jallet’s place in the squad, with the former Lorient right-back having packed up his extra-long socks and decamped to Lyon. Bonne chance Christophe.
Aurier is not technically our player yet, with the club having agreed an Financial Fair Play (FFP)-dodging season-long loan deal, with an obligation to buy at the end of it. Word on the internet-rumour street is that we’re proposing a similar deal for Real Madrid’s Angel Di Maria, who is also interesting Manchester United.
Generally I’m not one of these snobby fans who has a problem with PSG having money; I think we’re good for the profile of Ligue 1, and really who wouldn’t rather have Zlatan leading the line for their club than Amara Diane? Things definitely weren’t better in the old days. But these farcical loan arrangements don’t sit very comfortably with me.
You’ll remember that, according to FFP sanctions set down by UEFA, PSG are not meant to be spending more than €60million on players this summer, as well as reducing their wage bill. However you dress it up, bring in Aurier and Di Maria, on top of the completely illogical signing of David Luiz, is unlikely to comply with either of these targets.
The club may have found a loophole, but that doesn’t mean it’s right to use it. We already have a lot of good players, and I would rather see PSG act with a bit of dignity, take the medicine from UEFA, and pursue further transfer targets at a later date. Riding rough-shod over the rules is unlikely to win us any friends, or dispel the nouveau-riche, do-what-we-like, image that the club has elsewhere.