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Champions League: Get to Know Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

With Robert Lewandowski out for the first leg, it could be up to Aubameyang to take on the striker's role.

Pierre-Emerick Aybameyang With The Man He Could Be Replacing In Dortmund's Line-up
Pierre-Emerick Aybameyang With The Man He Could Be Replacing In Dortmund's Line-up
Lars Baron

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is someone who fits perfectly into the Dortmund side simply because he has an incredibly difficult name for writers to remember how to spell. This whole BvB squad is a veritable cluster of letters and because I'm lazy I'm just going to refer to Mr. Aubameyang familiarly as "Pierre." Good? Good. Moving on!

He started out as part of AC Milan's youth academy where his team won the inaugural Champions Youth Cup in 2007. Following that he had loan stints all over France with Dijon, Lille, Monaco and Saint-Etienne where he flourished and scored 35 goals and assisted 16 times in his last two seasons combined. Following his performance with the club, BvB came calling to the tune of €13m this past summer. A highly cultured player, his father played in France, Colombia and Italy while his mother was born in Spain, Pierre plays for the Gabon national team as opposed to the French team he was expected to commit to.

Pierre is, how should I put it? Fast. Marco Reus is considered to be a bit of a speed demon and Pierre tops even him by a considerable amount. He's already racked up 14 goals between the Bayernliga, sorry, Bundesliga, and the Champions League and is a general pest for defenders to try and keep up with. As a youngster he was trained to be a winger but as he developed and got older he was turned into a striker more or less. He naturally cuts to the inside as he's placed behind the striker and has the ability to play on either side of the pitch; a traditional winger on the right side and as an inverted forward on the left.

His strengths are his insane speed and his ability to take on defenders in one-on-one situations. He is clever when on the ball or making runs off it. He's versatile, as previously mentioned, and can be moved around in all three of the forward positions (though he definitely favors his right foot). He's actually BvB's second most potent scorer this season while mostly playing on the right but as Robert Lewandowski won't be available in the first leg we might see him take the duties up top.

However, he's most certainly not without weakness which is why any of Reus, Jonas Hoffman or even Henrikh Mkhitaryan could be slotted at the striker position, though I predict Aubameyang. Pierre has been accused of being wasteful with the ball and being a poor finisher, not nearly clinical enough to be a striker or even Lewy's replacement when he leaves for Bayern Munich this summer. His passing is average at best and he can be inconsistent; capable of electrifying defenses or being wholly shut out of games. If he's played as the striker we could also see much of his speed on counterattacks neutralized. He is 6'1 but not very good in the air for someone his size and his defensive contribution can be lacking at times.

He's flashy, versatile, and bloody fast, but the big question is if Dortmund's speedy flash-player will be able to slip a critical away goal past Madrid's defense.

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