Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Chelsea: Why Thomas Tuchel needed a reunion with former Dortmund pupil

Thomas Tuchel is aware of that Chelsea’s striker curse runs far deeper than him packing Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner again off to their earlier, happier properties throughout this switch window.

“It is cursed, it is cursed, folks inform me it is cursed,” he stated of the London membership’s No. 9 shirt, which appeared to overwhelm illustrious names corresponding to Fernando Torres, Gonzalo Higuain, Radamel Falcao and Alvaro Morata earlier than Lukaku grew to become burdened with it.

“There was not an enormous demand for No. 9. Gamers typically wish to change numbers however, surprisingly, no person needs to the touch it. All people who’s longer than me within the membership tells me: ‘Ah, you recognize, he had the 9 and he didn’t rating, and he had the 9 and did additionally not rating.’ So we now now we have a second the place no person needs to the touch the No. 9.”

It appears to be like like Tuchel might have discovered his man to gulp from the poisoned chalice: a former pupil who left Arsenal in acrimonious circumstances and has been discarded by Barcelona lower than seven months after arriving.

However except for merely needing a striker, any striker, had been there good and compelling causes for Chelsea to signal Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang?

MORE: Newest on Chelsea’s 2022 summer season switch window

Why did Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang depart Barcelona?

After his time at Arsenal below Mikel Arteta turned irreparably bitter, Aubameyang joined Barcelona on a free switch on February 2 this 12 months.

Signing for one among Europe’s nice golf equipment held apparent attraction for a participant who was 32 on the time. However Barca had been in a state of monetary turmoil off the pitch and nonetheless taking their early tentative steps below returning hero and head coach Xavi on it.

You’d assume a participant would actually must stink the joint out to get moved swiftly out of that scenario a solitary switch window down the road, however to place it bluntly, Barcelona are a soccer basket case like no different at this second in time.

It is a spot the place gamers are signed and small particulars corresponding to whether or not or not their contracts will be registered with La Liga are left for an additional day, the place a president should placate a passionate and concerned fanbase with the subsequent accessible galactico regardless of that actuality.

When that galactico emerges within the type of Robert Lewandowski, somebody like Aubameyang basically turns into Joan Laporta’s newest financial lever. A price of round £10 million ($11.5 million) plus left-back Marcos Alonso, and one other sizeable wage off the books, will probably be thought of shrewd enterprise throughout the Camp Nou corridors of energy.

It is going to be simple for Premier League followers to imagine a participant who did little to curry favour across the time of his Arsenal exit has as soon as once more proven himself to be yesterday’s man. Nonetheless, a have a look at his Barcelona document paints a unique image, one among an on-form elite striker who’s a prisoner to his membership’s distinctive circumstances.

After transferring to Camp Nou final season, Aubameyang scored 11 La Liga objectives in 13 begins and 17 appearances total. Over that interval, he was joint-seventh when it comes to objectives scored amongst gamers in Europe’s top-five leagues, one behind Lewandowski and Harry Kane on 12. If we assess his return when it comes to objectives per 90 minutes, Aubameyang’s common of 0.91 at Barcelona positioned him fifth behind Kylian Mbappe, Moussa Dembele, Karim Benzema and Christopher Nkunku within the prime divisions.

These numbers don’t counsel Chelsea have signed a participant on the slide, nor do they suggest Barca would have had no use for him.

Was Aubameyang a prime Premier League striker at Arsenal?

One other think about favour of Chelsea taking the plunge is Aubameyang’s expertise of 4 years within the Premier League with Arsenal.

In England’s prime flight, he scored 68 objectives in 128 appearances — a really fantastic document for a membership in a state of flux. However not for the primary time in his profession, Aubameyang’s prolific performances had been overshadowed by issues over his perspective and the way issues ended.

Essentially the most constructive spin is that it was very unlucky timing for Aubameyang’s kind to dry up not lengthy after he penned a much-trumpeted contract extension with Arsenal in September 2020, shortly after scoring a brace in each the semifinal and remaining versus Manchester Metropolis and Chelsea respectively to fireplace the Gunners to FA Cup glory.

Reminiscences of the lethal striker who stored Arsenal in with a combating probability towards the elite had pale significantly by the point Arteta’s persistence had expired and Barca got here calling.

However assume again to the Aubameyang who arrived through the chaotic remaining days of Arsene Wenger’s reign and also you discover a participant who hit the bottom working in 2017/18. He scored 10 in 13 league outings after becoming a member of from Borussia Dortmund mid-season, and his document over the subsequent two full seasons, as much as and together with that fateful contract, was sensational. Over the course of the finished 2018/19 and 2019/20 campaigns, Aubameyang scored 44 objectives. No different participant within the Premier League managed extra over this era.

His performances noticed him outstrip Jamie Vardy, Mohamed Salah (each 41), Sadio Mane (40), Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling (each 37) and Kane (35). From that group of elite marksmen, solely Aguero (106.35) may higher Aubameyang’s document of 133.39 minutes per purpose.

If Tuchel can get a participant near that model of Aubameyang — and his Barca document suggests he would possibly — then his arrival at Chelsea may show to be transformative.

Did Aubameyang fall out with Tuchel at Dortmund?

In November 2016, regardless of being their star attacker, Aubameyang was suspended by Dortmund for a breach of membership self-discipline. He arrived again to coaching late after staying in a single day for a celebration in Milan.

Aubameyang’s coach at the moment? Thomas Tuchel. Nonetheless, there isn’t a suggestion of lingering animosity.

“That is completely separate from something that’s occurring now, however I loved lots working with Auba whereas I used to be at Dortmund,” stated Tuchel when rumours linking Aubameyang to Chelsea emerged this month.

“Some gamers keep your gamers since you had been very, very shut. And Auba is a type of gamers.

“There was all the time right away this shut bond. They all the time keep your gamers in a means.”

It is hardly shocking when you think about Aubameyang’s Bundesliga document with Tuchel on the helm: 25 objectives in 31 league video games in 2015/16 earlier than an astonishing 31 in as many begins throughout 2016/17.

Aubameyang has scored objectives within the Premier League — certainly, wherever he is been — and scored objectives below Tuchel. Positive, he may add to the sense of turbulence that has been current at Stamford Bridge since Chelsea’s change of possession this 12 months, however Sterling’s match-winning brace towards Leicester Metropolis on Aug. 27 marked the primary time a Chelsea ahead had discovered the web in 2022/23. Aubameyang would deliver a component of certainty within the penalty space that nobody else at Tuchel’s disposal can presently present.



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