As soon as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang landed in London, he left for a specialized mask in Italy. The new Chelsea forward, who has completed his £ 12m transfer from Barcelona before Thursday night’s deadline, will need it to protect the broken jaw he suffered at the hands of armed thieves who broke into his home. last weekend.
What a week it has been for the 33-year-old, with so many emotions, specializing in the terrible ordeal the henchmen have inflicted on him, his wife and children. Thomas Tuchel, the Chelsea manager, promised him “all the help and support we can give”.
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On a professional level, Aubameyang is back in the city because he has “unfinished business with the Premier League” and with that you can bet your life means the demonstration of a point for Mikel Arteta, who forced him to leave Arsenal at the end of last season’s winter window, having tired of his erratic timekeeping.
Aubameyang took the damn no. 9 at Chelsea because, according to Tuchel, he “is not afraid of the past and what a number means … he is ready to write his own history”.
Tuchel loves Aubameyang, having worked productively with him at Borussia Dortmund from 2015 to 2017. “The more challenges he has, the better,” said Tuchel. “If he wants to get over Curse # 9 or wants to show someone in London that he’s better than people think … the more the better.”
Immediately, Aubameyang must get used to the mask when he trains for the first time at Chelsea on Sunday; he will not be involved in Saturday’s home game against West Ham. Besides, who knows? He could also play in the Champions League opener on Tuesday against Dinamo Zagreb.
“Maybe it could be Tuesday,” Tuchel said. “Although perhaps this is very soon. So maybe it’s Fulham [next Saturday], maybe it’s a week later. The last is after the national break [at the end of the month] but we try to push things and Auba is happy to push things ”.
You can see Aubameyang’s personal whirlwind as a microcosm of the chaos Chelsea have been experiencing since March, when the UK government took sanctions against then club owner Roman Abramovich, leading him from Stamford Bridge and kicking off the saga. acquisition which ultimately saw Todd Boehly and his consortium take control.
Everything was on hold and then the chains came loose – dramatically – with Boehly shelling out £ 266m to reshape the team; a world record for a single window. It was hectic. At times it looked like a dispersion gun and did Chelsea overpay? Even Tuchel acknowledged that they probably did. But it was their situation, stuck on the back foot and having to go out fighting; a case of need.
The distractions were numerous and both the results and performance were scratchy. But now comes the reset, the clean slate. For Tuchel and indeed Aubameyang, this is where the season has to start in earnest.
“We have to use the end of the transfer period and the energy and stability it gives you to grow the group,” Tuchel said. “We will use this momentum. We will use it as a new beginning. It is necessary.
“I have told you many times that we are a club in transition and we are paying the price for the last semester of insecurity. The teams that are dominating the league are the ones that for months have known what they want, where they are. It wasn’t that clear to us until now.
“The transfer window was quite turbulent, even though there was no other option than to do it like we did. You can call it a distraction, a shift in attention – of course it was. That is why I am happy that it is now closed and that the focus shifts completely to the team. I think we managed to get very good players ”.
One of them is Aubameyang. Tuchel pointed out that if anyone could deal with the trauma of such a ferocious burglary, it was Aubameyang and the coach couldn’t hold back a smile when he considered the sheer strength of the player’s personality, the size of him.
Tuchel recalled how he had only one problem with him at Dortmund and had nothing to do with timing, even though Aubameyang invariably dropped everything at the last minute, arriving amidst the great roars of his sports car engine.
It was when Aubameyang cut his hair instead of being with his teammates before a Champions League draw against Sporting. Tuchel had to abandon him but reinstated him for the next game and saw him score four goals against Hamburg. “Auba ran to me and she hugged me,” Tuchel said.
Arteta would certainly disagree but, for Tuchel, Aubameyang is a guy who is hard to get angry with. “Not everyone has to dress in dark blue with a boring cap,” Tuchel said, pointing to his training pitch attire. “They can have a nice haircut and a stylish car.
“IS [only] a problem with judging people very quickly. “He has this car and this and that, so he’s unprofessional.” Maybe he’s just a little bit crazier than us. It’s very beautiful. You have to be a bit out of the box to be special on the pitch. “