With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang away on Africa Cup of Nations duty, who will replace him for Dortmund? - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang away on Africa Cup of Nations duty, who will replace him for Dortmund? - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Bundesliga

How Tuchel can find opportunity in Aubameyang's AFCON absence

With Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set to be absent for up to a month on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations, coach Thomas Tuchel's task of guiding his side into the UEFA Champions League next season has been complicated somewhat.

Yet as bundesliga.com explains, the 43-year-old tactician has the tools to at his disposal to fill the void.

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Certainly somebody else will need to put the ball in the back of the net for BVB this month, but with 21 goals coming from other sources in the first 16 games of the season, Dortmund are not lacking in that department. With a plethora of talented attack-minded players to choose from, Tuchel may even find that a bit of enforced tinkering could bring out the best in several other star names.

- © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Thomas Niedermüller

Schürrle battled with knee problems for much of the first half of the season and he, like Reus, will have made the most of the extended break to get into optimum shape. An experienced Germany international with 48 Bundesliga goals to his name, he also has a proven eye for goal and the freedom in a potentially three-pronged attack could allow him to flourish.

Finally, there is an option Tuchel need not experiment with, one which has been tried and tested by Germany coach Joachim Löw: Mario Götze as the false nine. Since returning to Dortmund from FC Bayern München in the summer, the 24-year-old has shown glimpses of the qualities which have brought him 45 Bundesliga goals and a half-century of assists, and now could be the chance for the 2014 World Cup final-winning goalscorer to provide some more telling scrapbook strikes.

- © imago