Gus Poyet thinks Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was ‘outstanding’ on his Chelsea debut, while also backing the striker to be ‘important’ for the club in their new era.
Aubameyang left the Premier League in January by joining Barcelona on a free transfer from Arsenal. But he is now back in England after Chelsea spent a reported £12million to sign him in the summer transfer window.
A big reason for the move was Thomas Tuchel’s great relationship with the forward. They worked together at Borussia Dortmund and helped the German side to win the 2017 German Cup.
Tuchel gave Aubameyang his Chelsea debut in the recent Champions League group match against Dinamo Zagreb. However, it was a night to forget for the Blues as they surprisingly lost 1-0.
Soon afterwards, Chelsea chiefs announced Tuchel’s sacking. A club statement read: ‘Chelsea Football Club has today parted company with Head Coach Thomas Tuchel.
‘On behalf of everyone at Chelsea FC, the Club would like to place on record its gratitude to Thomas and his staff for all their efforts during their time with the Club. Thomas will rightly have a place in Chelsea’s history after winning the Champions League, the Super Cup and Club World Cup in his time here.
‘As the new ownership group reaches 100 days since taking over the Club, and as it continues its hard work to take the club forward, the new owners believe it is the right time to make this transition.’
Potter replaces Aubameyang favourite Tuchel
On Thursday, Chelsea revealed Tuchel’s replacement. It is former Brighton boss Graham Potter, who has penned a five-year contract with the side.
When announcing Potter’s arrival, majority Chelsea owner Todd Boehly made a hint about him being better than Tuchel in one particular aspect.
Aubameyang will likely be gutted about the major change in circumstance. While he was pretty much guaranteed a starting spot under Tuchel, this won’t be the case with Potter in the dugout.
Despite the change in manager, former Premier League coach Poyet reckons the Gabon international will still have a big impact at Stamford Bridge this season.
Player had ‘outstanding’ spell against Dinamo
”I thought his first 20 minutes [vs Dinamo] were outstanding, the movements, the way he ran in behind, the timing. I thought he would score three that game, then Chelsea lost,” Poyet said on Midnite (via the Evening Standard).
“Aubameyang is a top striker, when you’re in control of a game and players like [mason] Mount can find him, he will score goals.
“Aubameyang will be important for Chelsea this season.”
The 33-year-old will undoubtedly score goals in the famous blue shirt this campaign. However, his influence will largely be affected by Kai Havertz.
Tuchel often used Havertz up front during his time in charge, sometimes even when he had Romelu Lukaku available.
Havertz has proven he is able to cause opposition defenders problems and get amongst the goals. If he impresses Potter in training, then this could see Aubameyang spend large parts of the season on the bench.
It will be fascinating to see how Aubameyang performs when Chelsea come up against Arsenal on November 5. The attacker bagged plenty of goals for the Gunners but left in acrimonious circumstances.
Meanwhile, Brighton have issued a statement after losing Potter and his first-team coaching staff to Chelsea.
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