As the summer transfer window nears its close on September 1, Chelsea are confident of landing Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the price tag of £25.5million remains intact in the negotiations.
The Blue have made some big signings this summer including Raheem Sterling from Manchester City, Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli and Marc Cucurella from Brighton & Hove Albion.
However, there have been concerns as to whether Aubameyang will shine at the West London club if he comes to Stamford Bridge.
Concerns on past flopepd strikers at Chelsea
The questions are peculiar as the Blues have gotten their fingers burned in the past for buying prominent strikers who later struggled and popular among them were Andriy Shevchenko from Milan in 2006 and Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid in 2017. Before Morata arrived, Chelsea signed Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan from Monaco who did not make headway.
There is still much debate on whether Fernando Torres failed at Chelsea following his £50 million move from Liverpool in the 2010 summer transfer. His 2-2 equaliser at Camp Nou in the Champions League second leg semis against Barca in 2012 won the hearts of Chelsea supporters across the globe.
He also secured the corner kick that Juan Mata took to connect Didier Drogba’s header in another 1-1 equaliser at the Allianz Arena, Germany against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final which Chelsea won 4-3 penalties to secure their first European elite trophy.
And he went on to perform in front of goals in the following year scoring 6 goals in the UEFA Europa League for the Blues to lift the cup in 2013.
Looking at some of the strikers Chelsea had signed in the past that flopped, the same agitations have popped up for Aubameyang regarding whether he will perform at Stamford Bridge if he is lured away for Camp Nou.
Notwithstanding, a few antecedents availed to work in favour of assuring Chelsea that signing Aubameyang will be profitable.
Former Arsenal players were successful in Chelsea
In August 2006, after a delayed transfer saga, Ashley Cole from Arsenal completed a move to Chelsea. The left-back was signed for £5 million and went on to establish himself in the first eleven winning the Premier League in the 2009–10 season, four FA Cups, one League Cup and one UEFA Champions League.
During Jose Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea, he bought another former Gunner, Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona in 2014 for a fee of £30 million and the Spaniard registered himself in the heart of the midfield providing jaw-dropping assists. He won three Cups – two Premier League and one League Cup with the Blues.
The last ex-Arsenal player Chelsea secured his signature was French forward, Olivier Giroud in 2018. He moved from North London to West London in a transfer worth £18 million. Despite being used as a substitute striker behind Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner, Giroud had a great spell at Chelsea anytime he was called upon as he finished as a top goal scorer in 2019. He scored 39 goals in 119 caps and won the FA Cup, the UEFA Champions League, and the UEFA Europa League.
One of the factors that helped former Gunners to do well at Chelsea is the London atmosphere. The players are used to the environment and they had little or nothing to adapt to because the distance between North and West of London where Emirates and Stamford Bridge are located respectively is 12 kilometres apart.
Joining Chelsea from Arsenal has always been like moving to a welcoming London enviriment including supportive fans, great players and hardworking managers.
In one of his interviews, Fabregas talked about his great feeling of joining Chelsea as he relished his sterling performances at games he had, something Thomas Tuchel’s side will offer Aubameyang.
Fabregas said, “I don’t remember playing as well and enjoying the football [this much]. I’ve played in World Cup finals, European Championship finals, [and] Champions League finals with great teams.
“I am not saying West Bromwich Albion [last Saturday] or Schalke were the best games in which I’ve played – probably they weren’t – but definitely they were games I enjoyed a lot. I feel right now I am playing the best football of my career.
“When I chose this challenge [of joining Chelsea] it’s because I felt it could be this way. But I didn’t come here to just play well and that’s it. I came to win trophies and if I could play well and enjoy myself, all the better. There will be games I cannot enjoy myself the way I am now because other teams will approach games differently. But the most important thing for me is we know what we are doing: when we defend, when we attack, when we have to slow the pace, go quicker. We are being composed, mature, disciplined, and are playing very well.”
Thomas Tuchel’s reunion
Thomas Tuchel has proven to be a fantastic manager since he joined Chelsea in January 2021 to replace the club’s legend, Frank Lampard who was sacked for a poor show of games. The German went on to win the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA World Club Cup in his 19 months managing the club. This has made him one of the greatest tacticians at Stamford Bridge which will help Aubameyang.
Asides from that, landing Aubameyang at Chelsea will reunite him with Tuchel as they both worked together at Borussia Dortmund where they won DFB Cup together in 2017.
Both of them look forward to a reunion and have a possibility of turning things around for Chelsea as Aubameyang will have enough playing time under his former coach.
Aubameyang has a greater possibility to do well at Chelsea because he knows the terrain so well in Premier League. The 33-year-old Gabon international played 163 games for Arsenal scoring 92 goals.