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Making the case for Auro’s return

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Toronto FC are closing in on bringing back Brazilian defender Auro.

MLS: Toronto FC at Montreal Impact Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC may be considering the permanent purchase of Brazilian fullback Auro. The 22-year-old defender joined the Canadian club in February of this year, replacing the departed Steven Beitashour who sought pastures new at this year’s expansion team, Los Angeles Football Club.

The idea behind Auro’s transfer was to fill the Iranian right back’s void with an athletic and explosive fullback, whose technical qualities would be beneficial for the build-up of play from the back but also to have an extra weapon on the offensive part of the field.

TFC brought in Auro from Brazilian club Sao Paolo, who are considered one of the giants in domestic football in the land of Pele, Garrincha and Ronaldo.

In his native country, Auro played 30 games and also represented the Selecao at the U-17 and U-20 level. Technique is definitely part of his repertoire, and that is already a factor on which TFC could bank next season.

During his spell with the defending MLS Cup champions, Auro played 28 games in all competitions. His first appearances were in the Concacaf Champions League, where he collected two assists including one against the Colorado Rapids on his debut.

His other assist was registered in the 3-1 home victory over Club America in the semi-final of the continental competition. In fact, something that makes Auro an important player for the team is that he always shows up in the high-profile matches.

Two of his four MLS assists were against Atlanta United and New York City respectively. This is because Auro has the ability to exploit the vacuum left by teams who attack with their fullbacks, and often these sides are the ones in the upper spots of the championship.

Auro’s technical repertoire has helped him to dialogue easily with players such as Victor Vazquez and Sebastian Giovinco, who are very skilful with their feet. Having a fullback who is able to insert himself through overlapping or underlapping is a key situational play in modern football.

Maybe something that was a concern during the past season is his sharpness throughout the whole 90 minutes. Sometimes, Auro vanished a bit from the games, but holistically, the previous campaign was a bit of a mess for every individual so that might have contributed to his complacency as well.

According to Wyscout, he lost possession in his own half an average of 33% per game.

MLS: New England Revolution at Toronto FC Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

However, according to the same Wyscout, the former Sao Paolo player registered some formidable statistics during the 2018 season which inject a major boost for a potential return to the 6ix.

Covering practically the whole right flank, he played both as a pure right back or also as wingback given that majority of the season. Greg Vanney opted for the 3-5-2 as the blueprint of this team; Auro won an average of 24.4% of his defensive duels and was involved in 12.2% of successful tackles per game.

Moreover, Wyscout calculates that Auro had an average of 4.29 interceptions per game, with 30.9% of his recoveries made into the oppositions’ territory.

This also points to the fact that Auro is a fundamental player in the roster due to his versatility.

In fact, the Brazilian can fulfill the role of right back, wingback, right midfielder and if necessary, even as a central defender or a central midfielder.

Auro is certainly a useful jolly who TFC need to bring back if they want to challenge for silverware next year.