The start to the Bundesliga on Saturday saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s debut starting ahead of Jakub Blaszczykowski, last season’s preferred right winger for Borussia Dortmund. Producing a hat trick with his first shots on goal in the league, Aubameyang seems to be a ready replacement for Robert Lewandowski and is finding his feet quickly.
The match at Augsburg finished 0-4 with the addition of a late penalty scored by the Polish international.
The Gabon international has flexibility in terms of playing anywhere within the front line of three, and Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp looks to use him as the main striker in order to correctly utilize his height and speed. Klopp would also be wise to encourage Aubameyang to gain some weight in order to overpower defenders if need be, only drawback being that he would forfeit some of his current speed.
Dortmund were worried at the start of the summer that the loss of Mario Gotze to arch rivals Bayern Munich would be a tremendous hole to fill. With the possibility of Lewandowski leaving for the same team, everyone saw Dortmund as a team incapable of repeating what they accomplished the previous season.
With the transfer window following a season that saw Dortmund reach the Champions League final, their management sought to advertise the potential of a return this upcoming season towards the top players in the market.
The black and yellows turned to signing Henrik Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar Donetsk for the vacancy in Gotze’s former role, and prepared for the departure of Lewandowski with Aubameyang from Ligue 1 fourth placed club Saint Etienne.
Lewandowski refused a move to anywhere but Munich, to which Dortmund would not agree to, keeping the Polish striker put with one year left on his contract and unsatisfied. A frontline with Aubameyang, Blaszczykowski, Marco Reus and Lewandowski at the start of the Bundesliga paints an intimidating picture for the CL runners-up.
Needless to say, last season’s Bundesliga runners-up seek to regain the domestic league title stolen from them and with their rivals under new management, they would be correct exploit the insecurities and weaknesses within their foes’ new tactical system. Dortmund were superb in their 4-2 over the Bundesliga champions during the Supercup match played not too long ago, seeing an in-form Reus work his magic through the Dortmund midfield.
Klopp will have all guns blazing once right back Lukasz Piszczek and Mkhitaryan return from injury. This positive manager has coped with the departures of star players in previous seasons, such as Nuri Sahin and Shinji Kagawa, and seems to continue to recover and emerge stronger.
This season, the black and yellows will be a sight to behold and they hope to produce the continuity seen in seasons past, while trying to out-muscle the Bayern team that broke all of the records last season.
Klopp no longer seems to be conducting a project with his current team, as it has seemingly morphed into an operation, filling the empty holes when necessary.