The Blues had long since been in protracted talks with Barcelona over bringing the Gabon striker back to the Premier League just seven months after his acrimonious departure from Arsenal, where he spent four years but was eventually stripped of the captaincy by manager Mikel Arteta due to breaches of the club’s disciplinary code and had his contract cancelled by mutual consent.
Aubameyang – who will attempt to end the so-called ‘curse’ attached to the No9 shirt – has signed a two-year contract at Chelsea with the option for a further season and arrives for a fee of around £12million, with Spanish wing-back Marcos Alonso heading in the opposite direction.
Such a high-profile move reunites the 33-year-old with manager Thomas Tuchel, who has no concerns over his off-field behaviour having worked closely with him during a successful time at Borussia Dortmund.
Aubameyang will be tasked with spearheading Chelsea’s misfiring attack after a disappointing start to the new top-flight campaign that has seen them suffer insipid defeats by Leeds and Southampton, alongside the likes of Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz, with Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner among the attackers to have departed over the course of an eventful and oft-frustrating first summer window under the Boehly-Clearlake ownership group that saw a record spend of over £250m.
“I’m really happy. It’s an honour to be part of this team and I can’t wait to start,” Aubameyang said. “I have some unfinished business with the Premier League so it’s good to be back and really exciting.”
Chelsea fans will have to wait to see Aubameyang in action following a terrifying robbery last week at the player’s home near Barcelona which saw him suffer a minor jaw fracture after being struck in the face with an iron bar by armed assailants as he tried to protect his family.
Chelsea were happy to proceed with the transfer after reviewing Aubameyang’s medical records. Standard Sport understands that he is expected to be out of action for around three weeks to ensure a smooth healing process but will be permitted to train with his new team-mates at Cobham.
Scroll through the gallery at the top of the page to see the first pictures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in Chelsea blue!