Potter defends decision to sub Aubameyang on & off as Chelsea striker's goalless run extends to 10 games

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Chelsea 2022-23
Graham Potter has explained why he took the decision to sub Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on and off during Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.
  • Striker introduced early on
  • Replaced in the second-half
  • Last goal back in October

WHAT HAPPENED? When Raheem Sterling picked up an early injury against his former club at Stamford Bridge, Gabonese striker Aubameyang was introduced off the bench inside the opening five minutes. He was then replaced in the 68th minute by Omari Hutchinson, with the 33-year-old frontman visibly frustrated after seeing his barren run in front of goal extend to 10 games.

WHAT THEY SAID: Quizzed as to why Aubameyang was unable to see the game out against City, Potter told reporters: “He came on after one minute, hadn’t played for a while, and put in an absolute shift for us given Manchester City make you run a lot. I thought he did everything he could for the team. He was fatiguing a little bit, same as Hakim [Ziyech], so that was the decision. We needed a little bit of energy so I thought we could use Omari, Conor [Gallagher], and Lewis [Hall]. Of course, players want to stay on the pitch and influence the game. It’s a normal reaction.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Pressed further on whether he justified his decision to Aubameyang, Potter added: “No, I’ve not got time to speak in any depth in that point. You understand that footballers want to play and help the team. It’s a decision we have to make. He hasn’t played for a while and playing against Manchester City as a forward, sometimes you have to do a bit of work off the ball. He gave everything for the team and was fatiguing a little bit. So that was the decision.”

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Pierre Emerick Aubameyang Chelsea 2022-23

Graham Potter Chelsea 2022-23

Raheem Sterling injured Chelsea Man City 2022-23

WHAT NEXT? Former Arsenal striker Aubameyang has registered just three goals for Chelsea through 16 appearances since returning to English football from Barcelona in the summer, with the last of those efforts coming in a Champions League clash with AC Milan on October 11.