Chelsea boss Graham Potter has been told to sell striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the earliest opportunity, with a pundit predicting the less competitive league he will join.
Aubameyang enjoyed success during his first spell in the Premier League, which came with Arsenal. He joined the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018 and went on to score 92 goals in 163 appearances for the club.
He fell out with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta in December 2021. Aubameyang was then stripped of the captaincy after a disciplinary issue. This immediately put Aubameyang’s Arsenal future in doubt, and the club let him leave for Barcelona the next month. Arsenal were so desperate to get him out of their squad that they allowed him to join Barca on a free transfer.
Aubameyang did well during his first six months in Spain, scoring 11 goals in 17 La Liga matches and also finding the back of the net a couple of times in the Europa League.
But Barca captured Robert Lewandowski in summer 2022 and this left Aubameyang surplus to requirements. As such, he returned to London by signing for Chelsea in a deal reported to be worth €12million.
The Gabon international hoped to come back to the Prem and prove Arteta wrong by scoring goals for fun at Chelsea. However, things have not worked out that way.
He managed just one appearance under Thomas Tuchel – the coach who wanted to sign him – before the German was sacked and replaced by Potter.
And Aubameyang has scored just three times in 15 Chelsea appearances so far. He appears to be behind Kai Havertz in the striker pecking order.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks past his best
The former Arsenal man put in a poor performance against Manchester City recently. He failed to trouble the City defence and looked as though he had lost a yard of pace. football.london gave him a 5/10 rating for his display.
And now, former Aston Villa attacker Gabby Agbonlahor has criticised Aubameyang. The pundit reckons he is ‘finished’ and predicted Chelsea to sell him to an MLS club during January.
“Not at all,” Agbonlahor replied, when asked by Football Insider if Aubameyang was the solution to Chelsea’s issues up front.
“Aubameyang’s not the same player he was. He’s lost a yard of pace, and it happens – once you get to 30, it starts disappearing daily.
“He doesn’t look explosive, he doesn’t look like he’s going to beat his man – he looks finished. He can’t press like you have to in the Premier League.
“I’m sure if he got an offer to go to MLS, he would go in January. It wouldn’t surprise me.”
Aubameyang will probably reject offers to leave Chelsea this winter. He will want to turn things around and make himself Chelsea’s first-choice striker.
But if this fails to happen over the coming months, then it would not be a surprise if he left for America.
Moving to MLS would represent a big fall from grace, as Aubameyang has played for major clubs like Dortmund, Arsenal, Barca and Chelsea in his successful career.
However, with the forward now slower than in his prime, joining an MLS team could be a good solution. Such a transfer would allow him to pick up one last big contract before retiring.
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