Graham Potter says omitted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has done ‘nothing wrong’

Graham Potter said Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has done “nothing wrong” after he was left out of Chelsea’s Champions League squad for the rest of the season.

Aubameyang flew to Milan after being told he would not be involved in the team’s Premier League clash with Fulham on Friday night, which ended in a goalless draw when record-breaking £106.5 signing Enzo Fernández million, made his debut with the Blues.

The World Cup winner from Argentina was one of three new signings added to Potter’s European squad ahead of the round of 16 first leg with Borussia Dortmund on February 15, but the Blues boss insisted on the omission of striker Aubameyang, who joined from Barcelona last summer. It was just a matter of numbers.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been omitted from Chelsea’s Champions League squad (Mike Egerton/PA)

“He’s a professional,” Potter said. “I understand that he will be disappointed. It was a difficult decision. Pierre is unlucky and will be fighting for his place for the rest of the season.

“Whatever decision we make, there will always be a conversation about it. It was my decision. You have to make these calls. He hasn’t done anything wrong at all.

“I have a responsibility to articulate these decisions to the best of my ability with the player. He has handled it very well, today he trained fantastically”.

Potter’s side were held to a goalless draw by a well-coached Fulham side whose industry at Stamford Bridge drained much of the optimism that had built up around Chelsea in the final days of the transfer window.

Fernández, who signed in the final hours before Tuesday’s transfer deadline, was heavily involved but was unable to provide the spark his new team needed to unlock Fulham as the hosts’ indifferent league form it stretched to a win in six games and they continued to trail. in the race to finish in the top four.

The former Benfica midfielder came close to beating Chelsea late on when his first-half shot curled out of the reach of goalkeeper Bernd Leno and fell wide of the post. However, it was new signing David Fofana, a relatively modest £10m catch from Molde, who had the best chance when his late effort was cleared off the line by defender Tim Ream.

“I thought it was handled magnificently,” Potter said of Fernández.

“You could see his quality, see what he will bring to the team. It wasn’t easy for him or for us because he hasn’t been with us that long. But I’m excited about him.

“I think we have a lot of positivity and a good feeling, certainly from the start of the game, and the crowd helped with that. Within the team there was a good feeling.

David Fofana

David Fofana was close to Chelsea (John Walton/PA)

“I agree that we didn’t do enough in terms of our attacking game to create more, which is something we need to do.

“That little bit of connection, that fluidity and understanding, we probably lacked a bit, which is understandable when we have players coming back from injuries and new players on the team. That’s exactly where we are right now.

“In the Premier League against organized defensive units, you are always on your toes. Some positive aspects of us, I thought the effort was there, the spirit was there. But as an attacking team we would like to do more.”

Marco Silva, Fulham manager

Fulham manager Marco Silva was pleased with his team’s performance (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Fulham manager Marco Silva was pleased with his team’s performance as they walked away with a well-earned point from Stamford Bridge.

“It was a proper derby,” Silva said. “A good derby for us.

“From the first minute the players understood the plan and executed it well. We were here to accept the challenge, face them and play against Chelsea.”

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