Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang appears to have jetted out of the UK after being left out of Chelsea’s latest Premier League squad and axed from their European campaign.
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The 33-year-old, who only moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer, was removed from the club’s 25-man Champions League squad list on Friday afternoon to make way for three January arrivals.
Joao Felix, Mykhailo Mudryk and record signing Enzo Fernandez were all added to the squad, with Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos all missing out.
Chelsea were only permitted to add three players and had to remove one, though there was some surprise that Aubameyang had been picked to make way when Carney Chukwuemeka and third-choice goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli could have been removed instead.
To make matters worse for Aubameyang, he was then omitted from Chelsea’s squad for Friday night’s Premier League clash against Fulham – and he did not hang around to support his team-mates.
Rather than attend the match at Stamford Bridge, the Gabonese forward was pictured in Milan with his family.
The striker’s brother, Willy, uploaded a snap alongside Pierre-Emerick and their kids with the Duomo di Milano visible in the background , adding the caption: ‘My Family.’
Aubameyang’s no-show on Friday night will prompt even bigger question marks over the role he will perform for Chelsea for the remainder of the season given he no longer appears to be in Graham Potter’s thinking.
The former Arsenal striker – who cannot be transferred again so soon – was signed from Barcelona late in the summer by former boss Thomas Tuchel and there was an element of panic to the transfer, with the Blues having been desperate to bring in a forward.
But Potter does not appear to fancy Aubameyang – who has netted just once this season in the league – and left him on the bench when Chelsea needed a goal in their last meeting with Fulham at Craven Cottage two weeks ago.
Speaking about the difficulties he faces managing Chelsea’s new-look and rather large squad, Potter told Sky Sports before kick-off: ‘That’s the challenge. There’s no point denying that. Players want to play and when they’re not playing they’re disappointed, naturally.
‘You have to acknowledge that and help them with that and then try to create an environment, it’s not so simple but there’s healthy competition, we need to try to win our games, we need to progress in the Champions League.
‘We need to try to involve everyone because everyone is going to be important, you can’t win with 11… but maybe 33 is pushing it!’
In more positive news for Chelsea, Reece James was fit enough to return straight into the starting XI against Fulham while new signings Mudryk and Fernandez were both picked to start.
MORE : Pep Guardiola claims Manchester City have been unfairly targeted after Chelsea’s £320m spree in January
MORE : Chelsea add three January recruits to Champions League squad and axe summer signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
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Article source: https://metro.co.uk/2023/02/03/aubameyang-pictured-in-milan-after-being-axed-from-chelsea-squad-18221138/