Talking Tactics: Aubameyang can banish Chelsea's goalscoring Blues
Chelsea's attack has not been firing on all cylinders so far this season — but new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be the man to change that.
The Blues have struggled going forward, with their tally of eight goals in seven games in all competitions contributing heavily to the sacking of Thomas Tuchel.
Ahead of FC Salzburg's visit to Stamford Bridge in the Champions League tonight, we take a look at how Chelsea's deadline day signing can improve his team's fortunes in the final third with Graham Potter now at the helm.
An extraordinary player
Departed boss Tuchel, who worked with Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund, raved about the impact the striker can have on a team.
After the former Arsenal skipper signed, he said: "He [Aubameyang] is bursting with confidence and ability. He gives a lot to the team and gets a lot back.
"I am hugely impressed with the way he gives everything to be the complete and perfect forward.
"His aim is to score goals and he totally defines himself as a goalscorer but he's also incredibly committed to the team and so happy when he enables others to score.
"He's an extraordinary player who makes everyone better. He is incredibly important."
Unfortunately for the German coach, he was sacked less than 24 hours after Aubameyang made his debut in the 1-0 defeat at Dinamo Zagreb.
Aubameyang's stint at Barcelona may have been brief but it was a stark reminder of the forward's quality.
In 2021-22, the Gabonese striker netted 11 LaLiga goals in just 17 appearances at a rate of 0.91 goals per 90 minutes — only Real Madrid's Karim Benzema scored at a faster rate.
However, when looking exclusively at goals scored from open play — Aubameyang did not take any penalties for Barca — he stands alone at the top with 0.82 per 90.
The France native looked like a man in a hurry to score in Spain and Chelsea will hope he does not slow down any time soon.
Aubameyang's hot streak in front of goal in Catalonia was no fluke.
The 33-year-old has a knack for getting himself into prime scoring positions, courtesy of his elite movement.
His 0.66 big chances scored per 90 was more than anyone else in LaLiga last season, while only Arnaut Danjuma racked up more non-penalty expected goals per 90 than Aubameyang's 0.6.
Those numbers paint a picture of a forward who frequently finds himself presented with shooting opportunities — and Potter will be keen for his team to craft more chances for Auba.
A magnificent marksman
Getting into good positions is only one half of the job, however.
Thankfully for Chelsea, Aubameyang is also an excellent finisher.
He recorded an impressive 1.65 shots on target per 90 with a shooting accuracy of 54.05%, demonstrating his ability to test opposition goalkeepers with regularity.
Despite being a sizeable centre forward — standing at 6ft 1in tall — Aubameyang is not known for his aerial prowess but rather his searing pace in behind.
It may come as a surprise, then, to learn that no player scored more headers per 90 (0.25) in Spain's top flight last term than the Blues' new No9.
And while he may have drawn a blank in his Chelsea debut as Tuchel's reign ended with the 1-0 defeat in Zagreb, there will be more to come from Aubameyang.
Chelsea have not signed a one-trick pony but a well-rounded attacker who can perform a variety of roles to a high level. Most importantly, he knows how to find the net.