Six months after Chelsea spent eight figures to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Stamford Bridge, he is being pushed to the squad’s fringes. The striker was removed from the roster of participants for the Champions League playoffs.
The 33-year-old scored two goals while starting all six group games, but he hasn’t gotten the nod since November 6.
Enzo Fernandez, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Joao Felix are also recent additions.
The 33-year-old forward’s brief Chelsea career may perhaps end as a result of the choice. Aubameyang has scored three goals in 17 games for the Blues, but two of them were in group-stage victories over AC Milan in the Champions League.
The former Arsenal striker was rumored to be moving once again last month, but as he had already played for Barcelona this season due to FIFA rules prohibiting a player from playing for more than two teams in a season, he was left in limbo in London.
“Pierre’s a professional and I understand he will be disappointed. It was a tough decision,” said Potter.
“We had three coming in and two had to go out. He was the one that has missed out. It’s absolutely nothing bad against him. He has done nothing wrong at all.”
Since Chelsea is only allowed to field three new players in the Champions League, center back Benoit Badiashile, who joined from Monaco last month and has started every game, was also left out of Potter’s team. Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk, and Enzo Fernandez, a record-breaking Premier League signing, have been substituted in their place.
For Friday’s 0-0 Premier League match with Fulham, Aubameyang was not included in their lineup; instead, 20-year-old January addition David Datro Fofana entered the game in the second half.
According to Potter, “We wanted to give David some game time today to see where he is at”. “Pierre’s just unfortunate and he will be fighting for his place for the rest of the season.
“He has handled it very well and trained today fantastically which is what I’d expect. He’s been a top, top guy for us.” he added.