Friday, October 7, 2022

Transfer Deadline: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to join Chelsea from Barcelona in deal involving Marcos Alonso

FC Barcelona v Pumas UNAM - Joan Gamper Trophy
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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who endured a long road of negotiation since the early stages of the summer transfer window, is set to return to the Premier League to bolster Chelsea’s attack in the final hours of the transfer deadline day, CBS Sports transfer insider Fabrizio Romano reports. Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel will reunite with Aubameyang after the two worked together at Borussia Dortmund in a deal that will see Barcelona receive €14 million and Spain international Marcos Alonso. Aubameyang will sign a two-year deal with an option for a third while Alonso will sign a three-year deal with Barcelona.

The Gabon international is scheduled to fly to London later in the day to complete a medical and make things official. While Aubameyang fell out of favor with Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, he was effective on the pitch for the Gunners with 68 Premier League goals and 16 assists over 128 appearances. In Aubameyang’s brief six-month spell with Barcelona, he scored 11 goals to show he still has moments of excellence in the tank.

Raheem Sterling is rounding into form for the Blues with three goals in his past two games, but the Chelsea attack needs support and an additional focal point. Kai Havertz has been anonymous to begin the season with no goals or assists despite playing 408 minutes. He has only taken seven shots as he has found space harder to come by than last season when he was leading the line showing the need for a replacement.

Sterling and Mason Mount would seem to be the ideal two to form behind Aubameyang with Armando Broja growing into the role as a backup striker. That moves Havertz to the bench but also pushes American Christian Pulisic further down the pecking order. Despite his lack of playing time, the hope is that having a proper forward will make Pulisic more effective in substitute cameos, but that still probably means there will be fewer minutes to go around.

While Aubameyang had some issues arriving to meetings on time along with off-pitch drama off at Arsenal, these aren’t things that concern Tuchel due to having a prior relationship with him in Germany. With such a low fee involved in comparison to what Chelsea are used to splashing out on strikers, there is also less pressure on Aubameyang coming in despite the team having two losses in their last three matches. If a work permit is covered quickly enough, Aubameyang could debut Saturday against West Ham United.

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