Scouting Rumoured Chelsea Transfer Target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Rowanne WesthenryFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01:  Seokho Hwang (C) of Korea Republic is challenged by Pierre Aubameyang (R) of Gabon during the Men's Football first round Group B Match between Korea Republic and Gabon on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Wembley Stadium on August 1, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Chelsea are in the hunt for another striker in the summer as Roman Abramovich is apparently ready to cut his losses on the £50 million gamble that was Fernando Torres.

Having brought Demba Ba in from Newcastle United in January for £7.5 million and with Romelu Lukaku set to return in the summer after an impressive season on loan at West Bromwich Albion, the Blues will be wary of paying the reported £48 million buy-out clause for Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao.

Rather than take another big-money gamble as the Financial Fair Play regulations come into force, the Blues have been watching a 23-year-old striker by the name of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang according to John Drayton of the Daily Mail.

Aubameyang is over six feet tall and plays as an attacking midfielder and centre-forward. In the 2011-12 season, he scored 16 goals in 36 appearances from 48 shots on target. So far in 2012-13, he has scored the same number of goals from 28 appearances and assisted eight strikes for Ligue 1 outfit St-Etienne.

The Gabonese youngster is a great finisher whose footballing IQ allows him to make his run into space at just the right time.

In the current 4-2-3-1 formation deployed by Chelsea, he would play just in front of the Three Amigos—Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard—linking up with them in the build-up play before making the run to finish it off. He could also work well in a 4-4-2 alongside Lukaku or Ba as a right-sided forward, giving whoever is in charge of Chelsea next season more tactical options.

His contract with St-Etienne runs until 2016, but he has made it clear that he is looking to leave the club this summer. The French club will receive offers of £10-15 million for the striker, a relative bargain when compared with other names linked to the Blues.

Chelsea are not the only Premier League side in the running for Aubameyang's signature. Drayton also writes that Newcastle United have been watching him as a potential replacement for Ba, while Arsenal are also rumoured to be interested in signing the youngster.

With Paris-St-Germain also linked to the striker he will have some tough choices to make once the transfer window opens. If he opts for a move to West London he will add to an already potent attack for a relatively small price tag and would represent a good bit of business for Abramovich and Chelsea.