July 12, 2017

Is Aubameyang Worth It?  (Sky Sports)

Pierre-Emerick AubameyangWith Chelsea having missed out on Romelu Lukaku and decided to move on from Diego Costa, the Premier League champions are in need of a top-quality striker to lead the line for them in the forthcoming campaign. But who should it be?

Alvaro Morata is thought to be a Chelsea target, while Torino forward Andrea Belotti has also been linked with a summer switch. However, could Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang be an even better acquisition? Let's take a look…

Chelsea have been offered the chance to sign Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for £70m, according to Sky sources.


Aubameyang scored 31 goals in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund last season. That total was bettered only by Lionel Messi in Europe's top five leagues. Take out penalties and even Messi was only two clear of the Gabon international.

This was no freak haul for the 28-year-old forward. His total of 40 goals in all competitions follows on from a 39-goal season in 2015/16. Over his four years in Germany, he averaged 30 per season and always scored more than in the previous campaign.


It is no surprise that Aubameyang has a love for Lamborghinis. Speed is important to him. Former coach Jurgen Klopp once described him as a "classic fast player" and Aubameyang himself has discussed the possibility of a race with Usain Bolt. He's quick.

It means he is a huge threat when afforded space in behind. Tellingly, Aubameyang's first nine goals for Saint-Etienne all came away from home. This is a player who can punish teams on the counter-attack and expose defences with a high line.


Under Thomas Tuchel, Aubameyang's game developed significantly, resulting in the best two seasons of his career. The transformation was instant, netting 22 goals in his first 18 appearances. "This is not a phase he is going through," said Tuchel. And so it proved.

Fears that Aubameyang would be ill-suited to a team playing with a slightly slower build-up proved unfounded. He has morphed into a penalty-box poacher as well as a speedster. Aubameyang is now a pure finisher capable of operating as the team's target in the area.


Costa was Chelsea's talisman last season, his goals winning more points than any other player in the Premier League. Aubameyang can be that clutch player too. For example, his goals won seven points for Dortmund in the final 10 minutes of games alone.

He has that big-game mentality as well, scoring home and away against Real Madrid and Bayern Munich as well as in the derby at Schalke. Aubameyang is a showman and that is no big issue at Chelsea where a big character would be welcome in replacing Costa.


At 28, Aubameyang is significantly older than the alternative striker options on the market this summer. Lukaku and Morata are both 24, while Belotti is a year younger at 23. All offer the prospect of resale value even if the transfers do not work out.

Making money on Aubameyang is still a possibility, of course. Particularly given the reports of interest from China. But the fear could be that a forward for whom pace is such a key aspect of his game will need to make further adjustments in the coming seasons.


Even so, Conte understands that results are needed now at a club like Chelsea and in terms of likely productivity it is surely Aubameyang who represents the minimal risk signing. He has scored more goals than Morata and Belotti between them in the past two seasons.

Given the signs that he has matured into a man who can lead the line as well as run in behind, Aubameyang has the potential to play the Costa role and give Chelsea a new dimension too. Overlooking him could be a mistake.

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