Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would have been proud of the way Nicolas Gonzalez scythed through the Hoffenheim defence en route to one of the finest goals the Bundesliga has seen this season.
After all, the Arsenal captain was no stranger to stunning solo efforts during a prolific, five-year spell at Borussia Dortmund before sealing a £56 million move to the Premier League.
And if Gonzalez maintains his fine start to life in Germany’s top flight after recovering from a thigh injury he suffered scoring that stunning goal in Stuttgart’s 3-3 draw with Hoffenheim, he too will have clubs from England making their interest known.
Particularly with Sven Mislintat, Stuttgart’s sporting director, admitting bids of about £18 million would have to be considered.
“A transfer wouldn’t make sense from a sporting point of view, but economically…,” Mislintat, who worked with Aubameyang at Arsenal and Signal Iduna Park, told BILD.
“I know that, from Aubameyang’s days in Dortmund, he was always in top shape. He arrived on Friday evenings and was able to play on Saturdays. Nico is one of those guys too.
“The group takes Nico as he is. They accept his strengths and weaknesses. He’s a playful character, which is good for us in certain situations.”
Gonzalez fired the Swabians to promotion back to the Bundesliga last term and has five goals in his last five games for both Stuttgart and Argentina.
A free-flowing Stuttgart side have been a breath of fresh air since returning to the big time and coach Pellegrino Matarazzo will be praying his star striker stays until the end of the season.
After Mislintat’s admission, however, a January departure feels a real possibility.
The director himself admitted interest from Leeds United in Gonzalez during the summer was “very serious” (YEP), while the Albiceleste international has made it clear he doesn’t see his long-term future at the Mercedes Benz Arena (TMW).
Brighton and Hove Albion were interested too (the Guardian).
And, while Leeds squandered chance after chance during Sunday’s frustrating 0-0 draw with ten-man Arsenal, Gonzalez showcased exactly the kind of killer instinct the Whites were missing at Elland Road.