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Aubameyang is ‘done’ at Chelsea - Merson believes striker’s Stamford Bridge career is over

1:11 AM IST 11/01/23
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Chelsea.
Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson feels Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s time at Chelsea is over, just five months after joining the club.
  • Merson does not see Aubameyang lasting long at Chelsea
  • Ex-midfielder feels the Blues have run out of patience with the striker
  • Aubameyang has scored just three goals for Chelsea this season

WHAT HAPPENED? Aubameyang endured the disappointment of coming on as a substitute and then getting taken off in the same match during Chelsea’s Premier League loss to Manchester City last week.

He was then not involved in Sunday’s FA Cup thrashing by Pep Guardiola’s men, although Chelsea coach Graham Potter said he had a ‘tight back’ and Merson thinks he has not shown enough to warrant an extended stay in West London.

The former Gabon captain has scored just three goals in 16 matches since his arrival at Stamford Bridge on transfer deadline day in the summer from Barcelona with his poor form forcing Potter to use Kai Havertz as a striker.

WHAT DID HE SAY? “Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was taken off after coming on as a substitute in the first game against Man City and I think he will now be moved on,” Merson said in his column for Sky Sports. “I think they will cut their ties with him.”

“As soon as you are sub-subbing a 30-something player, I think that is probably the end. Maybe you can get away with it with a younger player, but in football, it's one of those unwritten rules. It's a don't-do. But Potter did it with him at 33 and, for me, I think he's done.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Aubameyang has looked out of sorts and low on confidence at Chelsea where he scored the last of his three goals in October after netting in as many matches.

The former Arsenal captain was seen as the man to replace Romelu Lukaku when the Belgian striker left for a loan stint at former club Inter Milan but he has so far disappointed, forcing his club into the market again for a centre-forward, leading to the arrival of Ivorian Datro Fofana this month.

Aubameyang scored 13 goals in 23 matches during his six-month stint at Barcelona, having joined in January from Arsenal, where he had fallen out with coach Mikel Arteta.

WHAT’S NEXT? Aubameyang is in a race against time to be fit for Chelsea’s Premier League match away to West London rivals Fulham on Thursday.