Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is in the form of his life, and Borussia Dortmund are reaping the benefits. The Gabon international heads into Matchday 14 with 15 goals to his name already, one ahead of FC Bayern München sharpshooter supreme Robert Lewandowski at the top of the individual scoring chart. His 21 appearances in all competitions this season have yielded an equally incredible 23.
"In this form, he's irreplaceable," said BVB head coach Thomas Tuchel: "He gives us a quality we don't otherwise have." Aubameyang's goal in the 3-1 defeat at Hamburger SV last time out was, moreover, his 26th of the calendar year in the Bundesliga – leaving him fourth in the overall 2015 rankings of Europe's top ten leagues.
Inevitably, that kind of form will plant you plumb in the cross-hairs of the game's high-rolling international elite. “We aim to keep him here as long as possible and it's not an issue I'm losing any sleep over. A freshly-extended contract through to 2020 speaks for itself in that regard,” Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke noted laconically. Aubameyang himself struck a similarly reassuring note, saying, "I love this club, its fans and the city. I think I'm going to be here for a while."
Probably not on 7 January next, however, when the Nigerian capital Abuja is the venue for the CAF African Player of the Year award. Ten players have made the shortlist, with the 26-year-old Dortmund speedster the Bundesliga's sole representative. Before then, Aubameyang has another four opportunities to add to his impressive half-season goals tally in the Bundesliga – starting against VfB Stuttgart on Sunday.