Thomas Tuchel welcomes Aubameyang to Chelsea after move
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Thiago Silva claims he held talks with Chelsea bigwigs during the summer transfer window about the possibility of signing his compatriot, Lucas Paqueta. The midfielder was eventually snubbed, however, as the Blues focused on a new striker and centre-back while Paqueta was snapped up by West Ham.
Chelsea put together a record-breaking summer spend which was capped off with two more arrivals on deadline day. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Denis Zakaria joined the likes of Raheem Sterling, Marc Cucurella and Wesley Fofana at Stamford Bridge as new co-owner Todd Boehly flexed his financial muscles.
The spree could have been even more lucrative if Chelsea’s board had paid attention to Silva’s plea. He and Paqueta have shared the pitch for Brazil on numerous occasions and, wise to his talents, Silva thought that he would be a great candidate to bolster Thomas Tuchel’s midfield.
As it happened, the Blues stood and watched while West Ham put together a club-record £51million package in the closing stages of the window.
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“No, I didn’t talk to Paqueta about coming here,” Silva told ESPN Brasil. “I heard he was about to leave Lyon. I had some conversations here with some people, but unfortunately things didn’t work out.
“Even because we weren’t 100 per cent sure he would leave Lyon. The last week arrived, this thing got a lot stronger. And we had some other priorities, because of injuries we have on the team. So we needed a striker, another defender. A midfielder, a little less.
“I think that’s why things didn’t evolve well. But I’m happy for Paqueta because West Ham certainly have a very good structure, it’s a great club in the Premier League scene.” Ahead of Chelsea’s meeting with West Ham on Saturday, Silva capped off the interview by joking that he hopes Paqueta leaves the clash ‘sad’.
There are a host of other storylines set to unfold at Stamford Bridge with Emerson Palmieri – now a Hammer – poised to face his former employers. Armando Broja could also be given a first league start of the season for the Blues against the side that came within a whisker of signing him earlier this summer, before Tuchel blocked the move from going through.
Aubameyang is expected to provide threat through the middle later in the season but he won’t be available to face West Ham after sustaining injuries in a violent home robbery that occurred in Barcelona this week.
Tuchel could hand a debut to Wesley Fofana on the right side of a back three and recall Conor Gallagher after his return from suspension. West Ham may pose a stern test after bouncing back from their tough start to the campaign with a win over Aston Villa and a draw with Tottenham.
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