Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang faces an increasingly uncertain future at Chelsea as Graham Potter looks to implement his ideas. The 33-year-old has struggled to find the net for the Blues, scoring just once in the Premier League this season.
Despite being the west Londoners’ only available senior striker, patience has run thin and Aubameyang has fallen out of favour at Stamford Bridge. The Gabon international is yet to be handed a start for Chelsea following the World Cup, with Potter opting for Kai Havertz instead. In recent weeks, Aubameyang’s only significant minutes have come off the bench in the Blues’ FA Cup tie with Manchester City where he was brought off the bench inside the opening five minutes.
And, even then after a lacklustre showing, he was later replaced in the second half for youngster Omari Hutchinson. After being substituted as a substitute, an ‘unwritten rule’, Paul Merson believes that Aubameyang’s time at Chelsea is coming to an end.
Speaking on Sky Sports, the former Arsenal midfielder predicted that the striker will be offloaded in the January transfer window, with Joao Felix’s loan imminent.
“I think Aubameyang will now be moved on. I think they will cut their ties with him,” Merson said. “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. It’s an example of why recruitment is such a big problem for Chelsea.
“They have brought a couple of players in already and it looks like they are going to have a go in the transfer window – they have to,” he added. “The top four looks very far away right now but there’s a long way to go.
“But if you do that January business and, all of a sudden, Potter goes a week or two later, then another manager will come in and say, ‘Well, I don’t like him, I didn’t want him.’ That’s what’s happened with Aubameyang. “Potter did not want him, but if he is now sacked and someone else comes in, they will go, ‘well, I don’t want that centre-half or that centre-half.’
Then it’s like you are going around in circles again. That’s why Potter has got to be given more time in my opinion.”
With Chelsea seemingly set to sign Atletico Madrid star Felix this month , Aubameyang is already beginning to attract interest. According to the Daily Mail , the Spanish giants are one of several clubs in La Liga keen to sign the Blues striker however any deal would have no correlation to the Felix’s potential arrival to Stamford Bridge.