The Gabon international was the Bundesliga’s top scorer last season, and has attracted the attention of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City
Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished third in the European Golden Ball standings and topped the Bundesliga goalscoring chart, but despite being linked with a host of clubs, it seems nobody really wants to splash out €70 million on the 28-year-old.
A host of Premier League clubs have been rumoured to be interested, with Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City among the potential suitors for Aubameyang, but all have decided to prioritise other options in the transfer window.
City are interested in Aubameyang, but only as a backup plan if they fail to land Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, while Jurgen Klopp has different targets at Liverpool despite knowing the Gabon international from their time together in Dortmund.
After finishing runner-up to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the Ligue 1 top scorers list at Saint-Etienne, Klopp spent €13m to buy Aubameyang in 2013, where he was used out wide with Robert Lewandowski the central striker.
Under Klopp, he impressed on the flanks, but really flourished once the German manager and the Polish striker both left the club. Aubameyang scored 16 goals in all competitions at BVB, and has improved on that in each season, with a fantastic return of 40 goals in 46 appearances in 2016-17, with 31 in 32 in the Bundesliga.
His obviously goalscoring talent is accompanied by great off-the-ball movement and a ridiculous burst of pace. He can run 30 metres in 3.7 seconds, which is comparable with Jamaica sprinters Maurice Green’s 3.77 seconds and Usain Bolt’s 3.78 seconds for the same distance. Aubameyang has claimed he can run a full 100m in 10.3 seconds, which would have been better than 17 of the athletes in the 100m Heats at the 2015 World Athletics Championships.
This explosive pace causes problems for defenders, and surely would have a major impact in the Premier League, where the 28-year-old would be crucial to a counter-attacking approach. As well as this, he brings a level of determination wherever he goes. At Saint-Etienne, he initially struggled in front of goal, but worked hard at improving his technique and his aim, helped by their manager Christophe Galtier, who is still full of admiration for his former protege.
“His greatest quality is humility,” Galtier told Bundesliga.com. “He has a lot of humility, respect, and he has something else: when he hasn’t done something right in a match, he asked to do it again in training, to change how he had done it and do it right.”
On the last day of the Bundesliga season, he netted twice against Werder Bremen to snatch the Bundesliga top scorer award from former team-mate Lewandowski, once again proving his class. He has impressed in Europe too, scoring seven in nine Champions League games, helping Dortmund finish ahead of Real Madrid in the group stage.
Aubameyang’s talents have been roundly praised, even by rival players. Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann believes the Gabonese striker is one of the best in the world, praising his overall ability and how much he has grown in the past season.
“He is definitely a world class striker who has an incredible consistency in his game,” Griezmann told Reviersport. “Over the past few months, he has developed steadily. With him, you always realise that he is happy on the pitch.”
Aubameyang is reaching his peak, having proven himself in Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga. If a Premier League club does decide to splash the cash on him, they will be greatly rewarded. He is one of the world’s best strikers and would be a sensation in the English top flight.