Brave Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could make his Chelsea debut in Zagreb on Tuesday just eight days after brutal robbers fractured his jaw.
The previous Arsenal captain accomplished his £10m move from Barcelona to Stamford Bridge and immediately flew out to Italy to have a mask fitted by the identical doctor who helped protect Antonio Rudiger’s eye socket last season.
The 33-year-old Gabon international then hopes to trial the mask in training at Cobham on Sunday before potentially joining the squad the following day to fly out for his or her Champions League group stage opener against Dinamo Zagreb.
“It depends somewhat bit on what the specialists say who create the mask for him after which how he adapts to the mask,” manager Thomas Tuchel explained. “So possibly it may very well be Tuesday – although possibly this could be very soon … Perhaps it’s Fulham, or possibly it’s per week later.
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Aubameyang was not the one deadline-day arrival at Stamford Bridge, with Denis Zakaria also joining on a loan deal from Juventus.
Zakaria, like Aubameyang, won’t be available to make his debut on the weekend against West Ham as Tuchel confirmed they still must ‘work on a piece permit’ but are hopeful he could also feature on Tuesday.