Paul Merson suggests why Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang transfer is needed ahead of Leeds vs Chelsea


Paul Merson, like many others, has identified the lack of ‘goals’ as Chelsea’s main issue in the early parts of 2022/23 Premier League season amid ‘very positive’ Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang talks. Chelsea, who have started off the season with four points from an available six, look a lot more complete with the £176million transfer swoops that have been conducted this summer so far by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital.

Raheem Sterling assisted Reece James for the second Blues goal against Tottenham whilst Kalidou Koulibaly opened up proceedings with his sublime finish to make it 1-0. Marc Cucurella meanwhile looked accomplished and up to speed with Thomas Tuchel’s system and he was the one to provide Chelsea’s new 26 for his debut goal.

Merson did praise the likes of Cucurella but did point out the main issue that still needs to be sorted out ahead of the September 1 deadline.

“Leeds United got three points on the opening weekend of the Premier League season but blew a two-goal lead against Southampton last time around,” he wrote in his Sportskeeda column. “Chelsea were outstanding against Spurs and were unlucky to come out with just a point from the London derby, but goalscoring seems to be a bit of an issue for Thomas Tuchel at the moment.

“Despite their dominance, Hugo Lloris made just one save last weekend – one from Kai Havertz in the first half. I still expect them to beat Leeds United because ultimately, their class will prevail. But when you look at the grand scheme of things, you can’t help but wonder where their goals are going to come from.

“Marc Cucurella was very good against Spurs – he passed the ball around nicely and didn’t get caught out defensively. Last season, I fancied Chelsea to win the Premier League title but after injuries to Ben Chilwell and Reece James, they crumbled and couldn’t recover on time to compete against Manchester City and Liverpool.

“With Cesar Azpilicueta and Ruben Loftus-Cheek available as deputies to James and Cucurella set to fight it out with Chilwell for a spot on the left flank, Chelsea are well covered on that front this season. “Prediction: Leeds United 0-2 Chelsea.”

Lack of ‘goals’ is something that could be soon sorted out by Boehly as he has held ‘very positive’ talks over a deal for Aubameyang but the fee remains the current sticking point, CaughtOffside have reported. Xavi initially demanded that the Gabonese was kept around to provide competition and cover to Robert Lewandowski, but with Frenkie de Jong looking increasingly likely to stay put as time draws on, the Spaniard knows that money has to be generated somewhere within the playing squad. understands that Chelsea want to conclude a deal at around the £22m mark but Barca are currently holding out for closer to £26m. A four million difference is the only thing from making this operation a ‘done deal’ at this stage.

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