Arsenal have been strongly linked to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in recent weeks. With rumours that a £50m deal is near conclusion that would see Olivier Giroud join Dortmund in some form of arrangement.
Aubameyang has good numbers, scoring 141 goals in 212 games for the German giants. Deemed an elite striker by many fans, Dortmund have managed to resist the offers from other clubs thus far. Or have they?
A striker who scores goals as regularly as Aubameyang does, normally ends up being picked up by Europe’s elite, a Real Madrid, Manchester United. Even the regular shoppers at Dortmund, Bayern Munich, haven’t taken their prize asset to the Allianz Arena. It begs the question, why not?
Premium player, budget attitude.
A huge criticism of Aubameyang is his attitude, which may be a reason as to why a huge club has never tempted to recruit him. He has missed more matches for off-field disciplinary reasons more than he has through injury.
Dortmunds sporting director, Micheal Zorc, has regularly expressed his frustrations at the Gabon striker. Recently quoted “I don’t know what’s going on inside his head. We had a very contentious discussion today. We’re not used to this behaviour from him. It can’t go on like this.”
He has expressed his desire to play for Real Madrid on interviews on a regular basis, refusing to commit his future to Dortmund and leaving the fans and coaching staff in limbo.
The striker has also been in trouble for his celebrations, coercing with sponsor Nike into unveiling superhero masks when celebrating a goal. Something that went against the boardrooms desires at Dortmund, who are sponsored by Puma. This kind of stunt is an example of the lack of awareness that can land the striker in hot water. Similar to the stunt pulled by former Arsenal man Nicklas Bendtner when displaying Paddy Power branded underwear during a game.
Aubameyang possesses huge qualities in his game. Blessed with blistering pace and the ability to finish all kinds of chances, managing at least 15 goals in all competitions since the 2011/12 season for St Etienne and Dortmund.
Despite all these positives when on the pitch, it is his off field antics which seemingly put off the larger clubs. So are Arsenal making the correct decision? Do other clubs know something Arsenal don’t?
Without disrespecting the London club, or Dortmund, if he really was as good as his statistics suggest, he would already be at an elite club. Instead, he is being willingly let go by a team not in the Champions League, to another team, not in the Champions League; where elite players ply their trade.