Aubameyang puts two past AC Milan
This one has already been a summer full of football tournaments. FIFA’s Confederations Cup took most of June. Right now Uefa’s Women’s European Championships is devouring July. But if your tastes run more to clubs than countries, worry not. The International Champions Cup has you covered. Yesterday (July 18) Germany’s Borussia Dortmund took down AC Milan 3-1 in their opening match of the China edition of that competition. Though he added another goal in the second half, a 20th minute penalty converted by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang turned out to be the match winner.
Why is he still here?
Fans of Dortmund’s black and yellows were no doubt delighted. Though the ICC is mainly a publicity tour consisting of friendly exhibition matches, it’s always nice to see your side win. But those same fans may also be wondering how it is that Aubameyang is still on the team.
As recently as one month ago last year’s Bundesliga Golden Boot winner was said to have packed his bags…for somewhere. But the places that qualify as “somewhere” may be becoming more and more scarce as the summer transfer-window ages.
Just today the rumor mill turned over once again and Paris Saint-Germain, who had been reportedly interested in gaining Aubameyang’s services for this fall, are now said to have moved on to courting Barçelona’s Neymar Jr. If the rumours hold any truth (doubtful at best), the club from the French capital city will be spending over €222 million to get him, which is supposedly the Brazilian’s release clause.
And that is, although the word is overused, a ridiculous amount of money.
Indeed while it has been reported that the deal for Neymar’s transfer may already have been done, the club is also said to be balking at the price-tag for the Brazilian’s services. Either way PSG probably do not have the depth of pocketbook required to afford both Neymar Jr. and Aubameyang.
Dreams of black and yellow
In the wake of last night’s match, new BVB head man, Peter Bosz, tried to quickly douse any notions that his presence on the field might be an indication that Aubameyang’s future plans have changed. Bosz knows there are still other clubs out there who would dearly love to have the Gabon striker wearing their own colors next fall.
It was Bosz’ way of warning fans that the summer transfer madness has another five weeks yet to run its course. From the manager’s perspective, it is likely none too wise to figure Aubameyang too deeply in his strategies for the coming Bundesliga season.
And Bosz himself does have a good deal of strategizing that he needs to do.
Indeed, the current ICC competition marks the return to the pitch of Dortmund’s official “nummer zehn”, Mario Götze. The eternally baby-faced Götze, who famously scored the clinching goal for Germany’s World Cup title in 2014, was substituted for the last third of last night’s match with Milan. Still just 25-years-old, Götze has been out for quite a long time.
The last time Götze wore the black and yellow the man in charge was Thomas Tuchel.
“Super” Mario’s place in the new manager’s scheme remains uncertain. Still, the number 10 at least is finally back in black and yellow to stay…but number 17?
Fans of Dortmund may yet relish Aubameyang’s talent for a little longer. And they may even hold out hope for the future. But they would also do well to keep in mind that August, as it so often does, may bring a familiar anguish.