When Serge Aurier signed for Tottenham Hotspur last summer as a direct replacement for Manchester City-bound Kyle Walker, there was a sense of optimism about the new arrival.
Anyone who had watched the then-Paris Saint-Germain star tear Arsenal apart in the Champions League group stages in 2016-17 knew that this was a player with the potential to thrive as an offensive Premier League right-back.
The only real question mark surrounded his discipline both on and off the field of play and unfortunately, Spurs fans have not seen anything resembling his best form.
Clumsy in the tackle, seemingly unable to take a throw-in and lacking in end product, Aurier contributed two goals and, most disappointingly, just three assists from 24 appearances across all competitions.
To put that into context, the Ivorian’s rival on the right of the defence, Kieran Trippier, managed to provide six more in his 35 outings, whilst youngster Kyle Walker-Peters set up both of Erik Lamela’s strikes in the thrilling final-day 5-4 victory over Leicester City.
The ex-Toulouse man has lacked authority in possession and his tendency to dive into tackles has cost his side more than once throughout the campaign, with needless penalties given away against Real Madrid, Juventus and Brighton & Hove Albion.
And whilst players such as Moussa Sissoko and Danny Rose endured poor seasons, Aurier was undoubtedly the biggest disappointment.
Indeed, Walker-Peters’ fine display against the Foxes may force him further up in manager Mauricio Pochettino’s thoughts and could mean that the 25-year-old’s future at Tottenham comes into question after less than a year at the club.
For the £23 million splashed out to bring him to North London, supporters would quite reasonably have expected more from Aurier and, if he sticks around, he will need to make a fast start next term to begin to win around the doubters.
At present, the right-back slot is Trippier’s to lose and the England international does not look like he will be shifted any time soon.
With his pace and power down the flank, Aurier should be able to challenge him for a spot but much will depend on whether his head is in the right place.