Mon 18 Mar by Nick Said
Arsenal have had a tendency to blow hot and cold this season, but one of their consistent performers has been striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has made an easy adjustment to the English Premier League and is in contention for the prized Golden Boot.The 29-year-old has been in red-hot scoring form of late and became an internet sensation last week, when he put on a Black Panther mask after scoring one of his two goals against Stade Rennes to see the Gunners advance to the Europa League quarter-finals.The Gabon international is arguably at the peak of his powers and his record in the current campaign is immense.
He has 17 goals in 25 starts in the EPL and 22 in 32 starts in all competitions, putting him just one behind Golden Boot leader Sergio Aguero of Manchester City.
It is a good return following his move from Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga a little over a year ago, a move he had long coveted.The French-born striker has a pedigree - he is the son of former Gabon international Pierre Aubameyang and chose to represent the African nation despite being a French junior international and a star on the rise.He was signed by the youth academy of Italian giants AC Milan in 2007 and loaned out to a number of French clubs before finally joining St Etienne on a permanent basis in 2011.He became an instant hit at the club, scoring 39 goals in two seasons, which together with his unusually brash personality got him noticed around the continent.Aubameyang made the switch to Dortmund in 2013 and was a regular in his four-and-a-half seasons at the club, scoring 141 goals in 2013 appearances in all competitions.That form grew admirers from the EPL and Spain’s La Liga, but Dortmund were desperate to hold on to their prized asset and it wasn’t until they risked losing him on a free transfer that they accepted a reported 56-million Pound offer from Arsenal.
Aubameyang is already Gabon’s highest yet goal-scorer in international football, but has a testy relationship with the country’s federation and recently refused a call-up for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ivory Coast, saying conditions within the national team were “amateurish”.