The World Cup is always a chance for players to put themselves in the global spotlight, with positive individual performances resulting in progressive transfers at club level.
As always, plenty of impressive stars from this summer’s tournament in Brazil have earned a move to a team of grander proportions.
However, despite standing out as one of the few positives from Ivory Coast’s botched World Cup campaign, Serge Aurier was always destined to move to one of Europe’s top clubs ahead of this season.
The 21-year-old has been Ligue 1’s most consistent performing right-back over the last 12 months and as such staying with Toulouse did not seem like a plausible option.
Although a highly anticipated move to England and the Premier League did not materialise, Aurier has been snapped up by Paris Saint-Germain on loan for the campaign, with every chance that the deal will be made permanent next summer.
Although an international player that has amassed 37 caps for the Oranje, Van der Wiel’s longevity in Paris has been a matter for discussion.
The 26-year-old did operate predominantly as the side’s first-choice last term, starting 24 Ligue 1 fixtures, but right-back certainly appeared one area where PSG could strengthen in the summer.
Despite the Dutchman starting in PSG’s most recent Ligue 1 win, there is a real argument to suggest that Aurier should get the nod to start if both players are fit and ready to play.
The Ivorian may well not be as experienced as Van der Wiel given that he has not played in the Champions League or competed for domestic honours, but the obvious potential to be a more rounded option is there.
With Blanc urging his full-backs to get forward and supply width and PSG dominating possession through their midfield trio in the vast majority of games they play, Aurier looks like an ideal acquisition.
The African defender showed the quality of his crossing at the World Cup with some delightful deliveries for the likes of Wilfried Bony to attack; Zlatan Ibrahimovic will surely relish the opportunity also.
Aurier’s attacking instincts propelled him into the limelight at Toulouse and last season’s return of six goals and the same number of assists shows just how dangerous he can be in the final third.
The Ivory Coast international is also a determined and able defender and will add a bit of steel to PSG’s back four also.
Although his positioning at times can be questioned and he has a tendency to needlessly misplace passes at times, Aurier will only improve as he plays alongside world-class team-mates.
David Luiz’s extortionate €50 million move to the French capital may well have been the highlight of PSG’s summer spending, but in Aurier the Ligue 1 champions have pulled off a real transfer coup.
Although it is still early days in the Ivorian’s time at the Parc des Princes, there is no reason why PSG’s new acquisition cannot occupy the club’s right-back berth for years to come.