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Gabonese ‘sad’ for Thomas Tuchel after Chelsea sacking

Chelsea’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was “sad” to see Thomas Tuchel sacked as manager, six days after joining him at Stamford Bridge.

The 33-year-old, who played under Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund, was one of the German’s final signings on transfer deadline alongside Denis Zakaria.

But his departure last Wednesday came the morning after Aubameyang’s Chelsea debut in the Champions League defeat at Dinamo Zagreb in their opening Group E match.

“Everyone knows the relationship that I have with Thomas,” Aubameyang said.

“It’s obviously sad when someone leaves the club and I only saw him for a few days. But this is football and when you play football you have to adapt quickly and in some moments in the season, this can happen.”

The forward said the managerial change from Thomas Tuchel to Graham Potter has formed part of some “crazy weeks for all of us”.

Tuchel had backed Aubameyang to “create his own history” in the number nine jersey at the club after the last 11 players to wear the shirt, including three club record signings, struggled to make an impact.

“I think he [Tuchel] was a bit frustrated and sad,” he added.

“I will try to talk to him as soon as possible.”

Former Brighton manager Potter began his Chelsea reign with a 1-1 draw against Red Bull Salzburg, leaving the Blues with an uphill task to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage.

“We are a bit sad because I think we deserved the win,” added Aubameyang, who is still waiting for his first Chelsea goal.

“I think he [Potter] is a really positive person and a great character. We will try to learn with him and to win as soon as possible.

“I think his ideas are very clear so I think it’s going to be easy. It takes time to adapt to each other but I think it’s going to be OK.”

Borussia Dortmund players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus celebrate a goal
Aubameyang, pictured here playing for Dortmund, has previously worn a mask to celebrate goals, not for protection

The former Gabon captain, who is playing with a mask to protect the broken jaw he suffered when trying to apprehend burglars who broke into his home in Barcelona before his move to Stamford Bridge, admits he is still “not 100%” fit.

“I think I need more time. It’s not easy to play with a mask and with an injury, but hopefully, I’ll get 100% as soon as possible,” he added.

Following AC Milan’s earlier 3-1 win over Zagreb, Chelsea sit bottom of Group E after two games with the Serie A champions up next at Stamford Bridge on 5 October.

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