Despite a rather short stint at Barcelona, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang quickly established himself as a fan favorite before leaving to Chelsea in the summer. After 7 months spent at the blue side of London, it’s safe to say that this move didn’t work out as expected, and a possible return to the Catalan capital is already on the table.
Arguably, Aubameyang’s move to Chelsea was the worst transfer of the season. On paper, it seemed as a reasonable deal as the Catalans got €12 million for the 33-year-old, while Chelsea finally got themselves a proper striker after Lukaku headed back to Italy on loan after a failed stint at Stamford Bridge.
Another reason why it could have been a positive move for Aubameyang was the identity of the manager. Thomas Tuchel, who was the coach of the Blues at that time, had been working together with the Gabonese forward for 2 years at Borussia Dortmund, and thus, they know each other well which could have made Auba’s adaptation smoother.
Unlucky for him, Tuchel was sacked just after the closing of the transfer window, following a 1-0 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in a Champions League away game. With Graham Potter taking over at the helm, Aubameyang lost his main mentor at Chelsea, and his continuous poor performances further aggravated his situation in West London.
A move away from Stamford Bridge was on the table even in January, but UEFA registration rules stopped the operation. Still, Barcelona’s interest in Chelsea’s neglected forward didn’t fade away, and given the player’s already bad position in the stacked squad of Boehly’s club, the English side probably wouldn’t hamper his departure.
Recently the Gabonese striker was spotted in the Barcelona dressing room, celebrating his former side’s 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in the league match. Auba, who is still a popular figure in Catalonia, was also asked by numerous shouting voices among the celebrating crowd to stay, and as things stand, their requests weren’t left on a deaf ear.
Furthermore, Chelsea is reportedly unhappy with Auba’s appearance in the Catalans’ dressing room as it is believed to be a clear sign of the expression of his feelings towards the club. If the dislike between the club and the player is indeed true, it can lead to an easier departure in the summer.
On the other hand, as Spanish media outlet Diario AS reported, Aubameyang is willing to make a huge effort to return to Barcelona in the summer and is ready to accept a low salary in order to do so. Plus, he hopes to convince Chelsea to let him leave, and based on the feelings from the board, it is likely that they would let their flopped striker leave to clear their bloated roaster.
If it happens, the Gabonese forward would be an ideal candidate to replace Lewandowski upfront when needed. Though, his addition would mean that there will be a surplus of attackers in the team, and some of the forwards will have to leave to make room for him.