The other Ligue 1 Centre Forward of the Year is Pierre Emerick Aubameyang:With over 40% of the votes, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has made it comfortably into the front two in the Football News team of the season 2012/13, and this is no surprise. The player has starred throughout and in this article, we shall talk to you about how.
After 18 goals in all competitions in the 2011/12 season, it was expected that Aubameyang would make a huge impact in Ligue 1 again this year. This has come true, and Aubameyang has now established himself as one of Europe’s brightest talents with countless clubs vying for signature. This season appears to have been the Gabonese international’s last in Ligue 1 (Unless he goes to PSG) and most defenses will be pleased to see the back of him, as he has tormented them with his pace and creativity throughout the season.
Quite how St Etienne will be able to cope without him remains to be seen. He has been vital for them in achieving the fifth place finish that they have ended up with and has netted 19 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances (36 starts). He has also provided 8 assists and so, overall has been involved in 32% of St Etienne’s goals in Ligue 1 this season. Although the vote is only on Ligue 1, the 23 year old has also impressed in the domestic competitions this year. Despite not scoring in the competition, Aubameyang has also been a key player in St Etienne’s winning Coupe de la Ligue campaign this year and also managed to net twice in Les Verts’ Coupe de France campaign before the side crashed out to Lorient in the Quarter Finals.
Aubameyang netted his first goal again Brest in the third week of the season in what turned out to be a brace for the player in an assured 4-0 victory for the player. He netted 6 more in his next 9 games to propel St Etienne up the table and express to Ligue 1 just how important he was going to be this season. A goal drought, however, as most top strikers do have once in a while, stopped him from having a truly exceptional season, as after a goal against Troyes in November, he did not score another until late February. This, however, could have had more benefits that it might appear on the surface. Despite large amount of interest from foreign clubs such as Newcastle, the player did not move and perhaps this was helped, as no club was that desperate to get him, due to his poor goalscoring form at the time, and so did not make a large offer which St Etienne would not have been able to refuse. The player therefore stayed put and has now improved his game further and has managed to attract higher profile clubs.
Having broken this drought, Aubameyang hit the prolific form that has attracted clubs such as Borussia Dortmund, going on to score 11 goals in his next 11 games. His pace is something which has become more and more apparent as the season has gone on, with the player often running onto the ball past the last defender in order to score. It appears that many of the 23 year old’s goals this season has actually not come from individual brilliance, but in fact a ball slotted into his pass for a controlled finish, or a cross into the box for him to knock home.
Aubameyang breaking his goal drought:
Aubameyang, as well as being good with his feet has also demonstrated his heading prowess. He is developing into a very versatile player as he can also play out on the wing on both the left and the right and as mentioned with his assist count, he has been able to provide goals this season as well with accurate cross and through balls himself. Aubameyang is also very good on the break and in particular, his goal in St Etienne’s 2-1 defeat of PSG defeated this, as he was able to respond to a mistake in the PSG defense and fully punish them. The Gabonese international has also continued to show off his skill as well this season, making a mockery of many a player with his step overs and other tricks.
He is clearly a very talented individual and has developed from his break through season in 2011/12 and has received much more European acclaim, as demonstrated by our poll, which has received many voters from the UK and Germanyn as well as other places. Aubameyang is very likely to leave St Etienne this season, but his destination is as yet unknown and this is for the simple reason that the player and agent themselves have no idea where the future lies. Pierre has, however, hinted that Germany is the most likely destination, to either Borussia Dortmund or Bayer Leverkusen, but how long he stays at either of these clubs is unknown, as he has openly voiced his desire to play for Real Madrid. It is important that Aubameyang does not get carried away though. He has had two very strong seasons and rightly deserves his place in our team of the year, but he is yet to test himself at the highest level and until then, we will not be able to see just how good he can become.
All of Aubameyang’s goals and Assists apart from his man of the match performance against Ajaccio in the final weeks of the season:
Friend of Aubameyang, Professional Footballer and member of the panel of experts for the Ligue 1 Team of the Year Jordan Galtier gives his opinion on how the Gabonese international fared this season:
‘He is a player who has worked enormously hard to become the player he is today. Many people did not believe in him, but he always believed in himself. He has become part of ‘Les Verts’s’ history and is destined for international success.’
‘Un joueur qui a énormément travaille pour devenir le joueur qu il est. Beaucoup de gens ne croyait pas en lui, lui y a toujours cru. Il fait parti de l histoire des verts, et est destiné a triomphe au niveau international. ‘