Thomas Tuchel’s sacking by Chelsea has left Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in an uncertain position once again, just days after signing for the club.
On Wednesday morning, Chelsea confirmed they were parting ways with Thomas Tuchel, following their defeat to Dinamo Zagreb the previous evening.
Club sources insist the decision had already been made before that game, but the drab start to their Champions League campaign can’t have helped.
The timing is strange, with Tuchel heavily involved in a summer of transfers for players who will now be coached by someone else. Perhaps the most obvious example of that is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
After a strong six months with Barcelona, there were already some questions around Aubameyang’s decision to return to England with Chelsea.
Ignoring the fact he has a tattoo of himself in an Arsenal kit on his arm, it just seemed odd for the striker to return to a league where he’d been struggling, with a club whose system didn’t seem to suit him.
Aubameyang’s chance conversion rate in the Premier League had dropped season-by-season from 32% in 2017/18 to 11% in 2021/22, whilst Chelsea’s problems creating chances centrally were well documented – and likely why Romelu Lukaku struggled.
The justification many gave was that Aubameyang would be reuniting with Tuchel. The pair spent time together at Borussia Dortmund and it generally went pretty well for both of them.
“I’m really happy to play for him again,” Aubameyang had said in a post-signing interview.
That argument no longer applies, and Aubameyang’s 59-minute debut (even though it was under Tuchel) didn’t exactly inspire. He didn’t even manage a shot under the German boss.
Aubameyang will have to hope Chelsea’s new coach is as keen to build around him as he might have believed Tuchel was.