Premier League

Mateo Kovacic backs Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for huge season with Chelsea | Football

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed for Chelsea on transfer deadline day (Image: Getty Images)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be a “great addition” to Chelsea, estimates new team-mate Mateo Kovacic, who believes the forward will score 20-25 goals this season.

The 33-year-old joined Stamford Bridge from Barcelona for a fee of just over £10million, returning to London just seven months after leaving Arsenal for La Liga.

The veteran striker is yet to make his Blues debut as he recovers from a broken jaw but when he comes onto the pitch Kovacic expects big things.

Things might have ended badly for the Gabonese international with the Gunners but he went to Barcelona and scored 13 goals in 24 games in an impressive stint.

Kovacic believes he still has plenty of goals in him despite his advanced age and believes Aubameyang can give the Blues a shot at the Premier League title.

“I can say that he will be a great asset for us,” said Kovacic. “He’s a real striker, a goalscorer that we missed.

“In recent years we haven’t had a striker with 20, 25 goals that you need to win the title. So we’re happy to have him in our squad.

“He’s a proven goalscorer. It’s normal for him to score goals and I hope he will do the same here at Chelsea.”

Chelsea FC v West Ham United - Premier League

Mateo Kovacic is hoping for a big impact from his new teammate (Image: Getty Images)

Thomas Tuchel has hinted that Aubameyang could be involved if the Blues head to Dynamo Zagreb with a mask to protect his jaw in the Champions League on Tuesday night after training.

It’s a delicate injury but Tuchel says training has gone well and his new signing is likely to be on the field soon.

“He’s very ambitious, focused, hungry to play for us, still hungry to prove something,” said his striker’s manager. “That’s why he’s here and that’s why he plays for us. So we’re happy that he can prove a point tomorrow.

“Auba trained with his mask on Sunday and had a test and felt good. Yesterday when he was training there weren’t any problems and I hope there won’t be any today either.

“Obviously if there was a problem, we wouldn’t put it in. I think maybe he could start but I don’t think he can play 90 minutes. So it’s up to us to make a decision on how to manage his logs.

“However, it is clear that he needs minutes to find his full fitness and rhythm.”

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