IT was in January that Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre
Emerick-Aubameyang first admitted he wanted to quit the
Bundesliga club this summer.
“If I want to go to the next level, I need to leave,” he told
Radio RMC. “But we must see the proposals and if I’m
going to play.”
The Gabonese didn’t seem particularly picky, however. While
Aubameyang said playing for Real Madrid was a dream, he added a
switch to the Premier League was an option. He also wouldn’t
object to a move to mega-rich PSG while a return to Serie A
wasn’t an impossibility.
Yet we’re only a month away from the 2017-18 campaign getting
underway and ‘Auba’ remains a Dortmund player.
Interest from Real Madrid failed to materialise and, barring an
offer from Chinese Super Club Tianjin Quanjian, no club has yet
submitted a formal bid for the 28-year-old.
But what would any potential buyer be getting if they signed
Aubameyang? Our friends at Football
Whispers profile the striker.
WHO IS PIERRE EMERICK-AUBAMEYANG?
Born in Laval, France, but raised in Italy by Gabonese and
Spanish parents, football was in Aubameyang’s blood. His
father, Pierre François, who was more commonly known as Yaya,
was a professional player who spent the majority of his career
Yaya won 80 caps for Gabon, many as captain, and featured in
the 1994 and 1996 African Cup of Nations. When he retired, he
became a scout for Milan which played a key role in his son’s
Aubameyang spent his formative years playing for several youth
sides in France, including Nice, Laval, Rouen and Bastia. But
in January 2007 he moved to Italy and joined Milan, on the
advice of his father.
Aubameyang soon made an impression for the club’s Primavera. At
the inaugural Champions Youth Cup in 2007, he scored seven
goals in six games and was awarded the Roberto Bettega Trophy
as Milan finished fourth.
But with the first-team then packed full of attacking talent,
his father agreed with Milan the best course of action for the
youngster was a loan move back to France. He spent a campaign
in Ligue 2 with Dijon and struck eight league goals in his
It was a respectable return and during the season he was called
up to the Italy Under-19 squad and France’s Under-21 side, for
whom he played once.
However, in March 2009 Aubameyang would opt to follow in his
father’s footsteps and represent Gabon at international level.
The talent was clearly there but the young striker struggled
over the next 18 months while on loan at Lille and Monaco
respectively. He scored just two goals for each before signing,
again on loan, with Saint-Etienne in January 2011. It proved
the most important decision of his career to that point.
Over the next 12 months, Aubameyang would impress at
Saint-Etienne and eventually earn a permanent deal with the
Ligue 1 club. He scored 18 goals during the 2011/12 campaign –
earning a place in the Gabon squad for the 2012 Olympic Games –
and struck 21 the following season.
Aubameyang’s star was on the rise and he was a wanted man in
the summer of 2013. Wanted by several clubs across Europe,
Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund won the race for his signature. It was
a pure footballing decision
Saint-Etienne chairman Bernard Caiazzo said: “He received much
more lucrative offers than Dortmund, but rather than privilege
the financial aspect, he opted for an intelligent career
That move has been proven very wise. In his four years in
Germany, Aubameyang has scored 120 goals in just 189 games –
form which saw him named African Player of the Player and
Bundesliga Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
He has blossomed into a fine poacher, one who admits he’s
closely watched videos of Ronaldo and Hernan Crespo in order to
improve. His 40 goals last season came in just 46 games and
every strike was from inside the penalty area.
He is a pure goalscorer which makes it curious as to why there
aren’t a swath of clubs chasing the striker. Real Madrid and
Barcelona were not interested.
Neither were PSG. Liverpool had other business to get done
first, as did Milan. And Chelsea are only interested after
losing out on Romelu Lukaku.
Perhaps it’s Aubameyang’s off-field indiscretions that have
made clubs wary. He was suspended by Dortmund in November for
breaking curfew after a party in Milan, and irked the club
again when he attended another party after Dortmund boss Thomas
Tuchel complained his young side lacked focus.
But the positives certainly outweigh the small negatives.
Aubameyang is an excellent striker and one that would thrive at
any of the clubs chasing him.
HOW MUCH WOULD AUBAMEYANG COST?
Dortmund are reportedly ready to accept an offer of around £65m
(AU$109m) for Aubameyang. It’s not a small fee but, given the
inflated transfer market and the Gabon captain’s proving
scoring record, it’s a price tag that is unlikely to scare any
potential suitors off.
WHERE IS AUBAMEYANG’S MOST LIKELY DESTINATION?
According to several news outlets, Liverpool are front of the
queue to sign Aubameyang. The striker has worked with Klopp in
the past and his pace and work-rate would fit in perfectly with
the Reds’ attacking quartet.
The only issue would be his wage demands. Liverpool’s highest
earner and best player, Philippe Coutinho, pockets
£150,000-a-week ($250,000). Aubameyang expects £185,000-a-week
($310,000). You doubt the Brazilian would be particularly
pleased if he was usurped.
That may open the door for Chelsea, who would happily match
However, while they maintain an interest, Chelsea’s main
transfer target up front is Alvaro Morata.
They are also keen on Andrea Belotti but he is top of AC
Milan’s shopping list and the Serie A club have reportedly
submitted a bid.