Graham Potter addresses Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's Chelsea future
Graham Potter has backed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to remain at Chelsea despite rumours swirling over a potential return to Barcelona.
33-year-old Aubameyang joined Chelsea at the end of the summer transfer window, reuniting with former Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel in the process.
But the German was sacked by Todd Boehly in the aftermath of Chelsea's defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League, with Potter subsequently appointed as his replacement.
The former Brighton boss has struggled to make his mark at Stamford Bridge, though, and is under pressure himself after a string of poor performances.
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Aubameyang has played just 390 minutes of Premier League football for Chelsea, scoring on his debut, and has been linked with a move back to Barcelona.
But speaking to the media ahead of Chelsea's clash with Crystal Palace, Potter suggested the former Arsenal skipper would be going nowhere if he has anything to do with it.
“Yes, he is here. He had a problem with his back after Manchester City," Potter said, when asked if Aubameyang has a future at Chelsea. "That’s why he was absent against Man City [in the FA Cup]. We just went for Kai [against Fulham]. Pierre is in our squad and he is important for us. I am pretty sure he can help us going forward.”
Potter also confirmed that Christian Pulisic would not have been leaving the club regardless of whether or not he'd picked up an injury, stating: “He will be out past [the end of the month] and there was never any consideration about him leaving anyway. He is a couple of months out.
"He is disappointed but he is optimistic about coming back quicker than two months. He is in that phase where he is keeping his fingers crossed and hoping his rehab goes well.”
Chelsea looking to address injury problems
“Yes, absolutely. We are looking all the time," Potter told the media when asked if he and his staff were looking at how to prevent a recent spate of injuries.
"We’re going over how they are happening and trying to evaluate the whole thing. Sometimes it’s difficult when you come in halfway through the season to know how things happened. It’s a bit of bad luck and there’s also learning for us all in terms of how we can improve.
“No [findings], not at the moment. The nature of them, it’s almost like there’s not even a pattern. They are different problems. It’s tricky and it’s not like we are overtraining or anything like that. It is just something we certainly need to get to the bottom of.”
Joao Felix loss 'a real blow' for Chelsea
“Of course, we’re disappointed because he came here to play, he came on loan to play," Potter also said when asked about losing Joao Felix to suspension.
"You saw his quality when he was on the pitch [against Fulham]. To lose him for three games is a real blow for us but there’s nothing we can do. We just have to deal with it.
“We have to recover [to face Crystal Palace]. We have to recover from the disappointment of the game [against Fulham]. We have to assess all the players in terms of recovery and injury, whatever we have. Then we have to be positive, move forward and take a home game on. It’s another London derby against a team with dangerous players. So we have to be good ourselves and prepare the team.”