‘He’s DONE’: Paul Merson believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Chelsea career is over already after just five months at Stamford Bridge – and claims the Blues have a ‘BIG problem’ with recruitment
The Gabonese hitman arrived from Barcelona on deadline day in September and has yet to establish a long-term spot in Chelsea’s frontline.
Having only scored three goals in 16 matches across all competitions this campaign, Aubameyang has been dropped in favour of German international Kai Havertz up front, with Graham Potter eager to turn around Chelsea’s poor run of form.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s career at Stamford Bridge is ‘done’ according to Paul Merson
The Blues sit 10th in the Premier League table and were knocked out of the FA Cup following their comprehensive 4-0 thrashing against Manchester City on Sunday.
Merson believes Chelsea and Potter will ‘cut ties’ with the 33-year-old forward after his dismal start to the season.
Aubameyang was hooked off during Chelsea’s Premier League fixture against the reigning champions last Thursday and subsequently dropped out of Potter’s squad for the FA Cup third round clash this weekend.
The Gabonese star was hooked off during Chelsea’s Premier League loss to Manchester City
‘Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was taken off after coming on as a substitute in the first game against Man City and I think he will now be moved on. I think they will cut their ties with him,’ Merson urged in his column for Sky Sports.
‘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.’
Blues boss Graham Potter is under pressure following Chelsea’s dismal start to the campaign
The forward was once considered one of the world’s best goal-scorers whilst at Arsenal, netting 92 times in 163 appearances for the club, but his career took a turn following his fallout with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.
After his acrimonious exit from the Emirates in January 2022, Aubameyang netted 13 goals in 24 appearances at the Nou Camp, enticing Chelsea into pursuing his signature during the summer window.
The ex-England star thinks Aubameyang’s arrival ‘is an example of why recruitment is such a big problem for Chelsea’
Aubameyang’s arrival at Stamford Bridge shows the ‘big problem’ Chelsea have with recruitment, according to Merson.
He continued: ‘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. 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.’
Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly quit as Stamford Bridge’s interim sporting director on Tuesday
Chelsea signed Monaco centre-half Benoit Badiashile for £35million last week, luring the French defender on a seven-and-a-half year deal.
Blues co-owner Todd Boehly stepped down as interim sporting director on Monday, having taken over the role in the summer after the exits of Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech.
Paul Winstanley and Christopher Vivell have now been entrusted with leading Chelsea’s recruitment strategy.
Paul Winstanley (L) and Christopher Vivell (R) pictured with Chelsea signing Benoit Badiashile