Aubameyang ends Dortmund exit trend with welcomed loyalty
Lee Gormley | January 8, 2016
Aubameyang shows welcomed commitment
“Let me say this first: I am not going to Arsenal. Dortmund is my club and I am not leaving soon.”
Those were the words spoken by Bundesliga striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang upon recently receiving his prestigious African Footballer of the Year award – a statement which will have greatly pleased Borussia Dortmund and hurt current Premier League leaders Arsenal.
The news will come as a blow to Arsene Wenger’s Gunners, who were seeking an attacking boost for their top-flight title assault (7/5 with Coral), but Thomas Tuchel’s Black and Yellows will hold such a vow fondly, after the club’s recent history of losing its star attractions.
Dortmund hitman curbs recent trend
Dortmund’s deadly Gabon international frontman has struck an incredible 24 goals in 23 outings this term, and his emphatic exploits haven’t gone unnoticed, dethroning Yaya Toure as his continent’s most illustrious player.
Manchester City’s midfield maestro had received the CAF award for the previous four years running, but it was Aubameyang’s turn this time around after his sensational season to date.
His stellar displays led to widespread reports that the 26-year-old would follow the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze and now returned-duo Shinji Kagawa and Nuri Sahin in departing for ventures elsewhere.
Though the Gabon marksman has quashed speculation linking him with leaving the Westfalenstadion, for now stating his desire to remain in familiar surroundings and help Dortmund challenge for a first Bundesliga title in four years (12/1).
Arsenal’s loss is Dortmund’s gain
Arsenal are currently in pole position for their first Premier League crown in 12 years this season, taking an encouraging lead over surprise-package Leicester City and Man City, but injuries have hurt their silverware prospects.
It was reported that Wenger would surprisingly throw a £40m offer for Aubameyang into the mix to test Dortmund’s resolve, but that has now been scuppered, as the treatment room continues to gain more unwanted members in north London.
Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck are long-term absentees for the Gunners, with the attacking and goal scoring burden falling heavily upon the shoulders of Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud, a scenario which could derail any title bid.
Aubameyang influential towards success
In Germany, Aubameyang’s initial dedication to the Black and Yellows cause will be a huge boost for Tuchel’s attempts at emulating former fan-favourite boss Jurgen Klopp in lifting silverware.
Klopp guided the club to back-to-back Bundesliga crowns in 2011 and 2012 before departing for Liverpool last summer but, with Bayern Munich storming ahead again domestically, Dortmund’s best bet this term could be in Europe.
With their in-form African sharpshooter leading the line alongside his close friend and fellow Dortmund devotee Marco Reus, Tuchel’s men are 7/1 favourites for a Europa League triumph, having looked formidable in Europe’s secondary competition this current campaign.
Sought-after finisher Aubameyang has pledged his loyalty to Dortmund for now as the Bundesliga outfit go in search of silverware but, if such honours can’t be secured, the future of Africa’s finest export could swiftly come under the radar once again.
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