The Aubameyang Dilemma!
It has happened before and it is happening again. Borussia Dortmund’s striker has missed the game against Wolfsburg due to disciplinary measures.
Previously, Aubameyang was punished for what was reported as shooting a video on the training ground and going to Milan, both without the clubs knowledge, and on Saturday he missed a club meeting, which was called by Peter Stöger.
Borussia Dortmund missed their goal-getter on Sunday as they can only grab a 0-0 draw against Wolfsburg and in turn failed to take the chance to move to second place in the table.
Borussia Dortmund’s sporting director, Micheal Zorc, wasn’t happy with the Striker’s behavior.
Zorc: At some point you can't tolerate it [lack of discipline from Aubameyang] anymore. 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.
— Lars Pollmann (@LarsPollmann) January 14, 2018
Zorc’s statement further added fuel to the already present rumors of Auba’s departure. The striker was already being linked to a move to China and now Arsenal, who are about to lose Alexis Sanchez, seem to be interested in securing the unsettled striker.
Alexis Sanchez not fully agreed yet. United favourites and next 2-3 days key (nobody takes City out of equation yet). Meanwhile Arsenal want to close soon deal for Aubameyang, left out of squad today, for €60m pic.twitter.com/QtaCcE5Z9P
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) January 14, 2018
With only 2 weeks left in the January window losing last season’s Bundesliga top scorer is a big blow for Borussia Dortmund. But the board has shown they value character as much if not more than ability when they fired Thomas Tuchel last season. The same fate seems to await Aubameyang.
This was not the only drama of the weekend. Auba criticized a journalist from Kicker about an article he wrote on the striker’s current situation.
The writer chose the word “Affenzirkus” which is translated to “Monkey Circus”. Auba was offended by the use of this term as he thought it was racist and this has been a cause of great debate and controversy on Social Media.
Getting back to BVB, the club only has youngster Alexander Isak as a true number 9. Yarmolenko’s performance is not reassuring and Marco Reus is well Marco ‘always injured’ Reus. And thus the Black and Yellows are short on a striker.
REVEALED: How Dortmund plan to line up for Friday's fixture against Hertha. pic.twitter.com/OYgifphC2X
— Essop (@essop23) January 14, 2018
Auba’s situation is a big dilemma. If he does leave who will replace him? and if he stays – what guarantee is there that this lack of discipline won’t happen again?
To sell or not to sell? That is the question!
As mentioned earlier, Aubameyang has been linked with a move away from Dortmund for awhile. After being deployed as a Striker by Klopp, during his last few months as BVB manager, Auba has blossomed into one of the best strikers in Europe and reached greater heights under Tuchel. Auba scored 25 league goals in 2015/16 and 31 in 2016/17. These performances have seen him being linked with Real Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man United, Man City, AC Milan etc. But for many reasons he is still at the Signal Iduna Park. Is the recent character a sign of a player who has been frustrated by lack of a transfer and is trying to force the club’s hand?
Aubameyang is generally a fun-loving guy. His clothes, instagram posts or the music video he released with his brother are all indicators of that. His teammates admire that about him and even Tuchel underlined what an important dressing room figure Auba is. His positive mood is infectious and reverberates through his teammates.
But a little too much fun is always bad. The striker had 3 suspensions in 14 months under 3 different coaches!. This will affect the club’s result and it’s also disrespectful to his team mates. This cycle can no longer go unaddressed and BVB may be forced to show him the exit door.
However, getting rid of him doesn’t make things all better. It’s a real headache to find a proper replacement (especially in the notoriously overpriced January transfer market), even more so when it’s the middle of the season and there aren’t many available strikers in the market who can feel his shoes. But if Aubameyang wants to leave, his actions suggest he does, then he must be let go before the mood around the club turns sour.
BVB fans will surely miss his goals, his acrobatic celebrations, his laughter and his Batman masks but the relationship between him and the club seemed to have run its course and it is time to say goodbye.