Transfer News & Odds

Thomas Tuchel opens up on relationship with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang amid transfer links

By Harry Edwards

Published: 14:05, 12 August 2022

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has said that working with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was a pleasure amid reports the Barcelona forward is a transfer target.

The Premier League side allowed Romelu Lukaku to return to Inter Milan on loan this summer, just one year after paying £97.5m to bring him back to Stamford Bridge, and have also resold Timo Werner to RB Leipzig, calling an end to his two-year stay in London.

As a result, Chelsea do not have a recognised striker with prolonged first-team experience and Raheem Sterling started as a False No.9 in their Premier League opener against Everton last weekend. Kai Havertz has also been touted to play in that role, while Armando Broja came off the bench but his future is currently in doubt, with several Premier League clubs interested in the Albanian.

Having previously been linked with a move for Robert Lewandowski before the Polish striker joined Barcelona, Chelsea are now reportedly interested in signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who only left the Premier League for La Liga in January.

A striker with Premier League experience, Aubameyang scored 68 goals in 128 games in the English top flight during his four-year stay at Arsenal, winning the Golden Boot in 2018/19 (alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah). Aubameyang also has previous experience in working under Tuchel, playing for the German while at Borussia Dortmund.

When Tuchel replaced Jurgen Klopp has Dortmund manager in 2015/16, he gained an Aubameyang hitting his prime, and the Gabonese striker truly thrived in front of goal. In 95 matches across all competitions, Aubameyang scored 79 goals under Tuchel, having netted 41 in 93 while Klopp was in charge of Dortmund. Only under Peter Bosz (20 goals in 21 games) does Aubameyang have a better goals per game ratio than with Tuchel (0.83).

And Tuchel has fond memories of working with Aubameyang, calling him one of his players.

“I enjoyed a lot working with him, was a pleasure,” Tuchel told reporters.

“Some players stay your players because you work very very close, Auba is one of these players. We had a very close relationship. Always when we played him here with Arsenal, there was always straight away this close bond.

“They always stay your players in a way, Auba is one of these guys.”

Tuchel also refused to rule out making further moves in the transfer window, which could include Aubameyang, admitting Chelsea still need depth.

He added: “I think we could use and strengthen our squad in depth and strength. But it’s one thing that you wish for and another what is possible. It needs to be possible.

“We are looking for top quality, top personalities, good characters and competitors on the highest levels. You don’t always get what you wish for and that’s why we are calm and ambitious at the same time. There are quite some days to go until the end of the transfer period. Everything is possible until the end.”