Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang began his Dortmund career with a bang Saturday.
At the end of last season one striker was reportedly on the wanted list of many clubs both in England and elsewhere. That man was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who finished his last campaign at Saint-Etienne with 19 league goals and 9 assists.
Prior to Tottenham signing Roberto Soldado, it was claimed they made inquiries for the Gabon international, while Arsenal had been scouting him for some time. Newcastle United were also said to be keen.
But in the end it was Borussia Dortmund who signed the frontman, seemingly as a long-term replacement for the Bayern Munich-bound Robert Lewandowski. And yet with the Polish striker remaining for one more season, he could be outshone by the new arrival.
That was certainly the case yesterday.
Aubameyang’s hat-trick against Augsburg helped Jurgen Klopp’s side to a 4-0 win and a place above Bayern in the Bundesliga table.
By contrast, Lewandowski had to make do with an 86th-minute full-stop on an emphatic victory. Although his pass for his strike-partner’s third was sublime.
Aubameyang put his new side ahead in the 26th minute, heading in a Marcel Schmelzer cross. His second was a wonderful effort into the far corner following good work from Marco Reus in the 66th minute, while his third was the easiest of the lot, as he rounded the ‘keeper and poked home with just 11 minutes remaining.
At just 24, the striker has an amazing future ahead of him, and while many believe Bayern will only be stronger this year, Klopp still has the squad to challenge them both domestically and in Europe.
After all, Saturday’s victory was earned without both Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Lukasz Piszczek.
There's no doubt Aubameyang would have excelled in the Premier League. But he is just another example of a player opting not to join England’s elite…in a list growing worryingly long.
Then again, Tottenham’s signing of Soldado is a master-stroke. Now it is over to Arsenal to see if they can sign a prolific goal-getter of their own.
You can see Aubameyang's hat-trick below:
image: © Dirk_Vorderstraße