Chelsea left red-faced by two players forced out the door by Mauricio Pochettino | Football | Sport

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino barely gave Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Romelu Lukaku a second thought when he took over at Stamford Bridge. But the pair have left the Argentine red-faced with their performances since leaving.

It wasn’t a surprise that both Aubameyang and Lukaku were moved on in the summer. Aubameyang started just five Premier League matches in his first season in west London, finding the net on one occasion.

He turned 34 in June and wasn’t seen as a player who fitted into Pochettino’s regime. Marseille snapped him up in July to end a miserable spell for the former Arsenal captain.

Lukaku stuck around a lot longer, with the Belgian not leaving Chelsea until Roma signed him on loan on August 31. Pochettino made it clear he wasn’t in his plans though.

Lukaku did not feature in pre-season and didn’t train with the first-team squad after he returned from his loan at Inter Milan. Pochettino had already decided that he would take his squad in a direction that didn’t include the £97.5million frontman.

But both he and Aubameyang have flourished since their respective departures. Aubameyang in particular has returned to the goalscoring form that earned him that big-money move to Arsenal almost six years ago.

The Gabon star has scored 12 goals and registered six assists in 21 appearances for Marseille. Lukaku has been slightly less prolific at Roma but has still recorded 11 goals and one assist in 18 outings.

The pair have provided 30 goal contributions between them for their new clubs, while Chelsea still struggle to find that regular goalscorer. Pochettino expressed his frustration at his side’s lack of ruthlessness following Sunday’s 2-0 loss at Everton.

He told the BBC: “Football is about scoring goals and we were not clinical in front of goal. We need to talk and to try to improve in the next transfer market.”

Pochettino has already had one window in order to improve that area of the pitch. Nicolas Jackson was brought to the club in the summer and is their leading scorer in all competitions.

But his seven goals and one assist is some way off what Aubameyang and Lukaku have done so far this term. Raheem Sterling has been much improved in his second campaign but still only has six goals to his name.

Cole Palmer has five but four of those have been from the penalty spot, while Enzo Fernandez is the only other player to have scored more than two. Aubameyang and Lukaku may not have been the answers for Pochettino at the time but surely at least one of them would have been worth persisting with until they can find a long-term solution up top.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *