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'I don't know how he kept his driving license!' - Tuchel fondly recalls time with 'crazy' Aubameyang at Dortmund

22:30 BST 11/05/2021
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal 2020-21
The Blues boss has offered his view on the Gunners captain who has faced some criticism this season during his side's downturn

Thomas Tuchel has admitted that he still exchanges messages with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who he previously coached during his time at Borussia Dortmund.

Aubameyang scored 141 goals in 213 games at Dortmund, where he was coached for two years by Tuchel after being brought to Germany by Jurgen Klopp.

Ahead of their first meeting in English football, Tuchel gave his opinion of the Gunners captain, who has faced increased criticism amid his side's struggle to qualify for any European competitions.

What Tuchel said?

"He does not get younger, that’s the problem," Tuchel said when asked whether he wanted to sign him for the west London club.

“Back in the days at Dortmund, it was a pure pleasure to have him in the squad. Auba was a fantastic striker, a fantastic finisher on the pitch. But more than that, he was a fantastic worker off the pitch. 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! But if he does this, he is in a hurry, he excuses, he feels sorry, he has still a smile on his face.

"Yeah, 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. We still are in touch from time to time and exchange messages when some of us has a big win. In some way, he will still always be my player and feels like he will always be my player, so you want him to succeed and have a good time wherever they are.

"This contact never fully stopped and it’s nice to see him because he’s always on for a hug and it’s nice to see him laugh, but, of course, we want to stop him and there is no exchange now before the games. It’s not the first time we played against the guy we trained so nothing special there.”

Tuchel was then asked whether Aubameyang is unlucky not to have won more in his career and he responded: "Yeah because he is a winner, he is a winner. We won the cup together in Dortmund.

"I never had a feeling that he lacks a certain of the 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."

What stories did Tuchel have?

"When we wanted him to be on time, 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," he added.

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

"I don't know and I still don't know how he managed to keep the driving licence in his pocket 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 and you could accept to have one or two guys like this in the team.

"It's not the biggest problem. But don't forget that he was also a top, top professional who never missed any training session, never sneaked off the training pitch one minute early or the opposite because he was always dressed and ready for training."

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