While we still don’t know whether or not Robert Lewandowski will be playing for Borussia Dortmund in the upcoming season, Borussia Dortmund have gone ahead and at the very least begun to prepare for life without the Polish forward.
On Thursday, it was announced that Dortmund had completed the signing of forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from French club Saint-Etienne. Aside from the 2012-13 Champions League finalist adding another quality attacking player to the squad, the move is the biggest signal to date that the team is readying itself to sell Lewandowski this summer.
Given that Dortmund under the coach Jurgen Klopp play a 4-2-3-1 formation, it is hard to make the argument that somehow the acquisition of Aubameyang means that the team will now play with two out and out forwards or that Aubameyang will play as a right winger, taking over the role left by the departed Mario Goetze.
Now, as we wait to see where Lewandowski will be sold to by Dortmund, we can begin to speculate what it is that he will exactly bring to Dortmund. While similar to Lewandowski in terms of build and age, Aubameyang will bring t0 Dortmund more speed up top as the lone forward.
Aubameyang has been clocked to have run the 100 meters at eleven seconds flat during training by Saint-Etienne coaches. With that kind of speed, he fits in perfectly to the quick transition/counter attacking style which Dortmund have displayed under Klopp in the last three seasons.
And while his speed and stamina might not lead to a goal early in a game, these physical attributes will give him and Dortmund an edge later on in games as it will push tired defenders to a point of exhaustion at times. And Aubameyang is also a maturing player who has yet to reach his peak.
Last season, he scored 19 goals and assisted on 14 goals in league play. On a Dortmund team where he will get a lot quality service and have teammates who have proven to be quality finishers, there is no reason to believe he can’t reach his 2012-13 league totals.
In what is the clearest sign yet that Dortmund are preparing for fielding a team with no Robert Lewandowski, they have once again made a smart acquisition in bringing in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Just like his idol Thierry Henry, Aubameyang is at an age where he is ready to take the next step as a forward. For that, he and Dortmund will benefit as a result.