‘Shocked’ Aubameyang flies to Milan as Chelsea boss Potter explains CL squad chop

Joe Williams
Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looks stern

Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is ‘convinced the club want to get rid of him’ after leaving him out of their Champions League squad.

The Blues spent over £300m in the January transfer window with eight new signings registered and only three new names allowed to be registered for the knockout rounds.

Enzo Fernandez, Mkyhaylo Mudryk and Joao Felix were all registered, while Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos all missed out.

Chelsea also had to remove one player from their previous list with Aubameyang confirmed as the unlucky man to miss out on their new-look 25-man squad submitted to UEFA.

And the Daily Telegraph claims that the Gabon international ‘has been left shocked and disappointed’ at being left off the list and his future is ‘now in major doubt with sources close to the player convinced the club want to get rid of him’.

The report added: ‘Sources close to Chelsea and the player both confirmed that the decision was not a punishment and that there have been no behaviour issues with Aubameyang since he has been at the club.’

And Chelsea boss Graham Potter explained on Friday night his reasoning for leaving Aubameyang – who flew to Milan after being told he would not be involved in the team’s Premier League clash with Fulham – off the list for the Champions League.

When asked if Aubameyang was still part of his plans, Potter told Sky Sports: “Yeah of course. I had to explain it. It was a tough call because he’s done nothing wrong.

“But we wanted to give minutes to David [Datro Fofana against Fulham] and give him that opportunity. But Pierre is with us, he’ll be with us for the rest of the season, and he’ll be fighting for his place.”

During his post-match press conference after being held to a 0-0 draw by Fulham, the Chelsea boss added: “I don’t think it’s going to be difficult because Pierre is a professional and of course I understand he’ll be disappointed. It was a tough decision, a tough call, we had three coming in and two had to go out so he was the one that missed out.

“He’s done nothing wrong at all. We wanted to give David some game time today, in terms of seeing where he’s at and giving him that opportunity. I think you saw that one flash that he’s got.

“Pierre’s just unfortunate and he’ll be fighting for his place for the rest of the season.”

Potter continued: “Whichever decision we made it was always going to be a conversation about it of course. But it was my decision.

“It was a tough decision, absolutely. But sometimes you have to make these calls and it was absolutely nothing bad against him. He’s done nothing wrong at all.

“Everything is up for grabs. He’s got to keep working, training like he did today and be ready to play, because football changes quickly. That’s the nature of the game.”

READ MORE: Arsenal fans are ‘more obsessed’ with Chelsea than winning the title. Can Graham Potter even do this?