Tuchel on Auba mask: No superhero ideas please

Chelsea‘s new striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could make his debut for the London side in the Champions League wearing a mask for his injured jaw, but manager Thomas Tuchel on Monday implored the media not to give him ideas of being a “superhero.”

Aubameyang is recovering from a jaw injury he suffered in an armed robbery at his home in Barcelona, days before he sealed his deadline day transfer from the Spanish club. The Gabon striker will wear a mask while playing as a precaution.

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Chelsea play away at Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday and when it was put to Tuchel that Aubameyang could have his masked “superhero” moment by scoring on his debut, Tuchel joked: “Don’t put any ideas into Auba’s head please, any further ideas.

“I’m pretty sure he has his own ones. When he scores he can celebrate. First of all, he needs to score,” Tuchel added. “He’s very ambitious, very focused. He’s hungry to play for us and prove a point.

“That’s why he’s here, that’s what we felt from the first moment. He’s happily invited to prove a point tomorrow.”

Although his current mask is for medical purposes, in the past Aubameyang has celebrated goals by donning masks of iconic comic book heroes — including Batman, Spider-Man and the Black Panther — saying he puts them on to make his kids happy.

Tuchel said a call on Aubameyang playing would be taken depending on how he trains again, but would not play the full match.

“Is he ready to start? Of course. He cannot play 90 minutes,” Tuchel added. “It’s on us to take a decision on how we manage the minutes. He needs minutes to get his full fitness and rhythm. It’s on us to find a solution if he comes from the bench or if he starts.”

Chelsea’s other deadline day singing Denis Zakaria is also available after making the trip, but defender Thiago Silva has been rested.


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