Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has revealed that Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could make his Chelsea debut on Tuesday when the Blues start their UEFA Champions League campaign against Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb in Zagreb.
Aubameyang joined Chelsea last week before the end of the summer transfer window from Barcelona, sealing a return to London but this time with the rivals to his former side, Arsenal.
However, the former Borussia Dortmund striker was unable to make his debut in Chelsea’s 2-1 win against West Ham United on Saturday. Thomas Tuchel revealed the reasons why his appearance on Tuesday will not be the full 90 minutes of the game due to fitness issues.
The 33-year-old striker has only played 8 minutes of football for Barcelona this season before his £10M move on deadline day. He was also subjected to a robbery attack last week, meaning his appearance will be with a protective mask after he sustained a jaw injury.
Tuchel, who worked with the Gabonese in Germany, explained that Aubameyang needs to be “managed.”
“He needs minutes to get his full fitness and rhythm. He cannot play 90 minutes, so it’s on us to find a solution if he comes from the bench or he starts.” Tuchel said.
Chelsea got to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League last season before Real Madrid knocked them out, and they will go again this season in Group E, which also has RB Salzburg, AC Milan, and Dinamo Zagreb.
Meanwhile, Manchester City will travel to Sevilla on Tuesday after playing out a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at the weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s side would have a full complement of their squad, including striker Erling Haaland.
The Norwegian has scored ten goals in six Premier League games since moving to the Etihad Stadium from Borussia Dortmund. He would have the opportunity to return to the Bundesliga side as the Cityzens have been paired alongside the German Bundesliga side and FC Copenhagen.
Daniel Ademiju Idowu