It was a flawed plan from the beginning, Chelsea acquiring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona this summer for actual money, presumably at the request of a head coach who was surely a dead man walking by then.
Less than a week after Aubameyang signed, Thomas Tuchel would be fired and replaced by Graham Potter — a man we’re evidently hoping can be our Mikel Arteta. Incidentally, the actual Mikel Arteta fell out rather badly with Auba at Arsenal, though that’s neither here nor there.
To his credit, Aubameyang hasn’t stirred up any major controversies. But his on-pitch performances have been just as dour and drama-free, and he now has a whopping 3 goals in 15 appearances (10 starts), and none since early October. Not quite Fernando Torres territory, but only because we didn’t spend a club record this time.
Told you not to take that No.9 shirt, Pierre!
But, what’s done is done and we do have to figure out how to move forward. The new owners seem more than willing to address the situation with the tried-and-true methods of the previous owner — i.e. spend more! — but we do have to figure out what to do with Auba himself, who will be turning 34 before next season.
We’re on the hook for not only this season but next season as well for his contract, to 2024 ... that’s not too tragic in the greater scheme of things, but perhaps we can find a team to take him on loan at least? Recent reports, such as the one from the Daily Mail, claim that he does have a few teams watching him, mostly from La Liga, but anything beyond that right now is just hopeful nonsense: no move can be possible until the summer since he already played for two teams this season. (Unless somebody found a loophole in FIFA’s rules, which I guess shouldn’t be ruled out completely.)
Torres did eventually find some measure of success at the club, some 18 months after his arrival, and he even led the team with 22 goals in all competitions in 2012-13. Aubameyang is unlikely to have that much time to turn things around even a little bit.