The deadline day capture of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona was an outstanding move from Chelsea, according to BT Sport pundit and former Blues winger Joe Cole.
Aubameyang was brought in on the final day of the window on Thursday, penning a two-year deal at Stamford Bridge.
The former Arsenal striker, who cost a reported €12 million (£10m), made his debut against Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday after he was named in Thomas Tuchel’s starting line-up for the Champions League opener.
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“Aubameyang is an outstanding player. When you’re looking for a short-term option, he was the one who jumped out,” Cole said before the match.
“He scored 11 goals in 17 for Barcelona, he does everything Chelsea need; he gets on the shoulder, he’s a finisher, he’s a proven goalscorer and it’s a great bit of business”.
Another player to catch the eye of the 56-time England international was right-back Reece James, who has begun the season in fine form and was also picked to start in Croatia.
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James signed a new six-year contract with Chelsea on Monday and Cole explained that he has been impressed with the 22-year-old for many years.
“I was lucky enough to coach him at Chelsea Under-18s a few times. Every day he impressed me with something different,” Cole said.
“At first it was his technique, and then his physicality, then his mentality. He ticks all the boxes of what you want in a young player.
“He’s become a Chelsea player, an England player, he’s a vital member of both camps now. And I think he’s becoming a leader in the dressing room. I think he’s someone in big games who Chelsea look to make the difference.”
He added: “The problem England will have is fitting these players into the team. You’ve got Trent (Alexander-Arnold), Reece, Kyle Walker…there’s an abundance of talent in that position.”
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Former England striker Peter Crouch expects James to put pressure on Liverpool star Alexander-Arnold’s starting spot for England, with the World Cup now just over two months away.
“If Trent Alexander-Arnold wasn’t about, he (James) would be a shoe-in at right-back,” Crouch said.
"He might still rival that place. He’s becoming a leader, he has the strength, defensively he’s good, and his delivery is first class. Some of his deliveries, I wish I was a striker in those positions.”
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