How would you sum up Serge as a player?
Julien: “He’s a very good player with big potential. He’s mostly a right-back but can also play left-back or as a centre-half so he has a bit of versatility, although right-back is his favourite position. He runs up and down the right-hand side the whole game, he’s got a good engine, he’s very strong, he has a good quality of crossing and he’s someone who listens and improves. He has a lot of potential and a lot of talent.”
Is it fair to label him as an attack-minded player?
Julien: “Yes, for sure. There’s no doubt about that. He’s always on the move, always overlapping and that’s why I think he will be a perfect fit for Spurs because that’s exactly what Mauricio Pochettino wants from his full-backs. I think he will be a brilliant addition. Going forward he’s a great player. He sees the space, his movement is good and the quality of his crossing is good so he’s definitely an attack-minded player.”
Will Serge have had much experience of the style of football that we play at Spurs while in France?
Julien: “PSG certainly play with a lot of the ball and a lot of movement from the full-backs. They maybe play more possession football than Spurs at times but it’s not going to be a big change for him because he’s going to be asked to do the same sort of things – attacking the space, overlapping, crossing the ball and bringing more numbers going forward. He might need a bit of adaptation to the league, to his new team-mates and his new manager like any new signing but I think he’s got all the qualities and he’s perfectly suited to the way that Spurs play.”
What did the PSG fans think of him as a player?
Julien: “They really like him. He was a strong character in the dressing room and with the fans, he’s a really good guy. That’s the thing – he’s a real joker in the dressing room, a lot of people like him and he loves life. He had to get away from Paris and basically have a fresh start and as much as he loves PSG because Paris is his home town, he realised that he needed to leave to get his career back on track and fulfil all that potential.”
How did you find him in interviews in France?
Julien: “He is a really cool guy. He speaks his mind often, he’s quite a vocal guy on and off the pitch but I think people will like him because he’s got an exciting style of football that will fit perfectly with the club. He’s quite a fiery character and I’ve got no doubt that he can become a fans’ favourite.”
Can you envisage him using his experience to help some of the younger players at Spurs?
Julien: “He was really close to the younger players at PSG like Adrien Rabiot, for example, who he really took under his wing when Rabiot was coming through. They became really close so I think he can do that and the more he will feel comfortable speaking English, the more he will start giving advice to younger players like Kyle Walker-Peters, for example. That’s the kind of relationship where you could see Serge help him a little bit by growing into the start of his career.”