Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the Verge of Leaving Chelsea for Marseille

Gabonese international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to bring an end to his nightmare tenure at Chelsea as he’s expected to join French giants, Marseille. The 34-year-old striker is poised to return to Ligue 1 a decade after leaving the French league, thus turning down prospective moves to Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Unfulfilled Promises and a Disappointing Stint at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea signed Aubameyang from Barcelona last summer in a £12m deal amidst much fanfare. The experienced forward was expected to play a significant role in the Blues’ attack, but instead found himself on the fringes. Initial limited game time under German manager, Thomas Tuchel, a mere 59 minutes, set the tone for his unsatisfying spell at the club. Tuchel’s relationship with Aubameyang from their shared time at Borussia Dortmund wasn’t enough to secure the forward’s position in the team, as Tuchel himself was shown the door shortly after Aubameyang’s arrival.

The striker’s poor form continued under Tuchel’s successor, Graham Potter, who, after failing to bring the best out of the Gabonese international, phased him out of the squad completely. By February, Aubameyang was off the Champions League squad list, and even after Frank Lampard was brought in post-Potter’s dismissal, the forward struggled to secure a starting position. His Chelsea spell culminated in a disappointing 22 appearances and a paltry three goals.

A Fresh Start at Marseille

Marseille appears to offer a lifeline for Aubameyang’s professional career as he is poised to sign a two-year deal, with an option to extend for another year, subject to passing a medical examination. Despite Chelsea initially demanding £5m for the transfer, they seem to have conceded to let the forward leave for free, owing to a desire to lighten their wage bill.

The move to Marseille will provide Aubameyang with a fresh start and an immediate opportunity to prove his worth in the Champions League, considering the French side’s third-place finish in the previous Ligue 1 season. The agreement also fits in well with Chelsea’s current strategy under Mauricio Pochettino, who is keen on freeing up funds and reshaping the squad before the transfer window closes.

Exodus from Stamford Bridge

Aubameyang’s departure is just one among many high-profile exits from Chelsea this summer. Key players like Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, Romelu Lukaku, and Hakim Ziyech have also left the club, significantly altering the Blues’ first-team roster. While these exits provide an opportunity for Pochettino to mold the squad to his liking, it also leaves behind a team in need of reinforcements and fresh energy.

Chelsea’s Pre-Season Preparations and Challenges

Chelsea, in the wake of these exits, has brought six new players into the squad, including Christopher Nkunku, Andrey Santos, Malo Gusto, and Nicolas Jackson. These players have been named in the 29-man squad for their pre-season tour of the United States, which includes games against Wrexham, Newcastle, Brighton, Fulham, and Borussia Dortmund.

However, some significant names, including Ziyech and Lukaku, are not part of the touring squad due to their imminent transfers. As Pochettino prepares his squad for the challenges of the upcoming season, these absences will provide opportunities for newer players to stake a claim for regular roles. Nevertheless, these pre-season games will be a crucial test for the Blues as they look to rebuild their squad and bounce back from the disappointments of the previous season.

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