Chelsea’s Squad Thinned Out with Absences of Aubameyang, Pulisic, and Sterling
Chelsea have revealed that star forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was absent from their squad to face Manchester City in the FA Cup on Sunday due to a small injury. The 33-year-old Gabon international was a notable omission from Graham Potter’s team sheet for the match at the Etihad, which ended in a 4-0 loss for the Blues.
Aubameyang had replaced Raheem Sterling after just five minutes in Thursday’s Premier League battle against Manchester City, but was then taken off in the second half himself. It has now been confirmed that he is suffering from a back injury, adding to Chelsea’s growing list of fitness problems.
Since arriving at Stamford Bridge in the summer transfer window, Aubameyang has struggled to find his form, recording just three goals and one assist in 16 games. While he has started all six Champions League games, he has only started four Premier League games.
Aubameyang was visibly frustrated as he was taken off the field against Manchester City on Thursday, and his contract at Chelsea only runs for another 18 months. He has now joined a full-capacity treatment room at the West London club, which also includes Christian Pulisic and Raheem Sterling, who both suffered injuries in Thursday’s showdown with the Citizens.
Offering an update on Pulisic and Sterling after the game, Potter said he expects Pulisic to be out for “weeks,” while the extent of Sterling’s hamstring injury is not yet clear.
“Christian just opened up his knee in the game the other day so we’re still analyzing it. It’s going to be weeks I would say,” Potter told chelseafc.com.
“Raheem just had an action in the first minute that game, a back heel that was a bit strange and he felt something in his hamstring. So again we are analyzing that. Aubameyang had a tight back yesterday so was unable to travel.”
In addition to the injuries to Pulisic, Sterling and Aubameyang, Chelsea are also without N’Golo Kante, Reece James, Armando Broja, Ben Chilwell, Wesley Fofana, Edouard Mendy and Ruben Loftus-Cheek due to injury.
The Blues’ 4-0 loss to Manchester City in the FA Cup has plunged Potter’s long-term future at Stamford Bridge into uncertainty, with Riyad Mahrez scoring a brace alongside goals from Julian Alvarez and Phil Foden.
However, Potter insists that he is not fearful of a player revolt, saying: “I’m working with the players and I don’t get any sense of any people with poor attitudes. Everyone wants to try and do better and there is support in the dressing room.”
Chelsea will aim to bounce back from their FA Cup humiliation when they meet Fulham in a Premier League West London derby at Craven Cottage on Thursday evening.
The Blues will be hoping to have some of their key players back from injury in order to improve on their poor recent form and get back to winning ways.