Thomas Tuchel takes cheeky dig at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s bad time keeping

Thomas Tuchel claims Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was so late so often at Borussia Dortmund he was lucky to keep his driving licence!

Chelsea boss Tuchel managed the Arsenal striker, who has a reputation for bad time keeping, for two successful seasons in Germany before he was sacked in 2017.

But while he insists it was a “pure pleasure” to work with him, Tuchel admits Aubameyang was a “crazy” personality who was always running late.

The Gabon star, who owns a fleet of luxury sports cars, was axed by Arsenal earlier this season after turning up late to a team meeting.

But with Aubameyang leading Arsenal at Stamford Bridge tonight, Tuchel revealed he handled the 31-year-old very differently.

Tuchel said: "We told him the meeting was 10.45am when the meeting was 11am so there was a good chance he would be there with everyone else.

"You could hear the car from a kilometre away. We could prepare everything, start the video because he will arrive soon!

"I still don't know how he managed to keep the driving licence because from the sound of the car, I don't know if he was always on the speed limit…

"That's him. It's hard to be really mad with the guy because he comes with a big smile, he has a big heart and gives an excuse to everybody.

“You could accept to have one or two guys like this in the team. I think he did not miss one single training in two years. Maybe he arrived five minutes late on the training ground, that can happen with him!

“It was a very reliable relationship because he delivered an unbelievable amount of goals, his speed was unique in Bundesliga and he was a crucial player.

“It was a pleasure to work with him, always a smile on his face, very, very honest guy. A bit of a crazy guy, but this is nice crazy.”

Former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard wanted to sign Aubameyang, but Tuchel says he no plans to do so, despite revealing he is still in regular with the player.

Tuchel said: “Well he does not get younger, that’s the problem. I don’t want to speak about players at their current clubs and his current situation.

“We still are in touch from time to time and exchange messages when one of us has a big win. In some way, he will still always be my player.

“It’s nice to see him because he’s always on for a hug but, of course, we want to stop him and there is no exchange now before the games.”

Tuchel also claims Aubameyang, whose only major honour with Arsenal is the FA Cup, should have won more trophies in his career.

He said: ”Yeah, because he is a winner, he is a winner. We won the cup together in Dortmund. I never had a felling that he lacks a certain of edge of mentality when you want to win stuff.

“But clearly he cannot do it alone and he also needs a top squad to play in to compete for the highest level.

"With Auba you could push him to the limit and he was always up for a challenge, always open to the next step, always open to stay hungry, was never lazy, never satisfied with one goal, two goals, always going for a third.

“He always looked to the next game, to reach the next level and so I had a strong feeling that he is a real winner and you can rely on him.

“He was crucial in counter pressing, crucial in defending, huge impact physically in the two years that we were together and it was a pleasure to have him.”

Tuchel also revealed Matteo Kovacic is pushing to return for the FA Cup Final and fellow injury victim Andreas Christensen should be back before the end of the month.

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