Aubameyang shows off new mask in training with striker set for Chelsea debut vs Zagreb just days after burglary horror
THOMAS TUCHEL is ready to unleash Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as his masked marvel.
Chelsea’s new striker has flown out for Tuesday’s Champions League opener against Dinamo Zagreb just a week after having his jaw shattered in a burglary.
Aubameyang, 33, took part in training wearing a black, full-face covering which was made-to-measure by a specialist company in Milan at the weekend.
And it is unlikely to put off the flamboyant star — famous for donning superhero masks to celebrate goals.
Boss Tuchel reckons the former Arsenal captain is desperate to ‘prove a point’ even if he must wear the hi-tech face covering.
Tuchel said: “He has taken care with his recovery. We have been able to bring everybody to do our last training here in Zagreb.
“He has had a test with the mask, trained normally and so if everything goes well he will be available.
“He is very ambitious, very focused and hungry to play for us and to prove a point.
“That is what we felt from the first moment and he is happily invited to prove a point tomorrow.”
Aubameyang’s debut could come just four days after signing for £12million from Barcelona on transfer deadline day last week.
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Tuchel added: “If an issue comes up we will not put him in of course but there was no issue for him yesterday and I hope there will not be an issue today.
“Is he ready to start? He cannot play 90 minutes so it’s on us to take a decision about how we manage the minutes.
“He needs minutes to get his full fitness, this is clear so it’s on us to find a solution if he comes from the bench or if he starts.”
Fellow new boy Denis Zakaria is also in the squad for the Group E game as Europe’s elite competition gets underway.
Keeper Edouard Mendy has made a full recovery from Saturday when he was accused of faking injury to cover up for a mistake by angry West Ham boss David Moyes.
Tuchel is more concerned with improving his team’s performances but is boosted by Chelsea’s England defender Reece James signing a new five year contract.
Tuchel said: “He’s a very decisive player for us and an academy player and we told you many times how important he is, of course we’re happy to have a key player with us for so many years.”
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