Patrick Seeger/Associated Press
Of Dortmund's three summer signings, Aubameyang was the only true addition of depth. Mkhitaryan replaced Goetze in the starting lineup, and although initially a substitute, Sokratis took a role that was left vacant by the departure of Santana. But Aubameyang was, at the time, an addition who replaced no one.
Having participated in 25 of BVB's 27 games but averaging just under 70 minutes per game played, Aubameyang is in good favor at BVB yet certainly does not enjoy the untouchable status of a Robert Lewandowski or a Marco Reus. His attributes make him a tactical silver bullet for Jurgen Klopp that can either be lethal or rather benign.
Aubameyang showed the range of his skill in his Bundesliga debut when he netted a hat-trick in a 4-0 rout of Augsburg. The 24-year-old was quiet for three games before scoring and assisting two goals each in a 6-2 hammering of Hamburg.
Thus has been the story of his season: When he's on, he's on, and when he's off, he's off. For perspective, Aubameyang has directly contributed to a goal in eight Bundesliga games. In half of those games, he's contributed to two or more. In 17, he's failed to be involved in the scoring.
"Brilliant" describes him at his best, but "inconsistent" would be the proper word to describe his season.
It only takes the layman a few seconds of watching him in action to identify Aubameyang's greatest assets. He's impossibly quick, both in terms of acceleration and top speed, and he has excellent shooting technique to boot.
But in the big games, Klopp preferred Jakub Blaszczykowski on the wing prior to the Pole's injury. Aubameyang doesn't offer the same tactical defensive quality of Kuba and cannot be as involved in the midfield game as Klopp prefers. If Kuba is a natural winger, Aubameyang plays on the wing more like Thierry Henry did in his early years.
If Aubameyang wants to take the next step at Dortmund, something has to give. Either he will be used as a centre-forward or Klopp will change his tactical setup to a 4-3-3 and accept playing with three forwards. For now, though, Aubameyang is an excellent option in specific circumstances and a lethal weapon to use against slow or tactically lazy full-backs.