Few players in France have impressed quite like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this season.
The Saint-Etienne forward has pillaged 19 goals this season, and while he may be hesitant to leave the stable surroundings of the Loire, according to French Football Weekly, Europe’s leading lights are sure to be making their enquiries.
Contract Situation: Arrived in January 2012 and currently contracted until the end of June 2016—three years remaining.
Career Stops: Milan (2007-11), Dijon (loan 2008-2009), Lille (loan 2009-2010), Monaco (loan 2010-2011), Saint-Etienne (loan 2011), Saint-Etienne (2011-present)
Current Campaign: Ligue 1—36 games, 19 goals, 14 assists; French League Cup—four games, one assist; French Cup—three games, two goals, one assist.
A peripatetic start to a promising career threatened to derail one of Africa’s great hopes. Early excellence at Milan was only demonstrated in smatterings during a variety of loan deals across France as the promise began to fade.
Finally, Aubameyang settled in Saint-Etienne, and the stability has brought the best out of him. A superlative campaign this term has seen him named the best African star in the French top flight.
He is second only to Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the French scoring charts, and it is evident that Aubameyang’s currency is well and truly goals.
He has an excellent turn of pace, an eye for the net and an elasticity that can see him pull away from many defenders. Also capable of offering width from the flanks, Aubameyang could be a major asset for a team in need of a confident and composed finisher.
Anyone short of a goal or two might be tempted to take a look at Aubameyang. The flow of talent from Ligue 1 to the Premier League has increased in recent times following Newcastle’s spending spree, and naturally a number of England’s top clubs will be keeping checks on the Gabonese goal-getter.
Tottenham’s failure to get the best out of Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe has been a constant source of frustration at White Hart Lane this season, while the club’s failure to invest up top in January arguably cost them Champions League qualification.
Similarly, Arsenal have struggled to replace the goals of Robin van Persie as neither Olivier Giroud nor Lukas Podolski has proved particularly efficient. Don’t be surprised to see Arsene Wenger rekindle his love of the French market this summer.
According to Paul Collins of the Daily Mail, the player’s agent has announced that a large number of clubs are following his client’s movements. This is one to linger all summer.