To get a true sense of a player, sometimes you need to hear what fans think of him so when a Dortmund fan voiced his honest opinion about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the Borussia Dortmund subreddit, it seemed too informative not to receive a wider audience.
The comments, posted to the Gunners subreddit by user “Keown14”, gave an overview of what to expect if the striker signs.
First, he warned against listening to anyone who thinks Aubameyang is a one-trick pony.
The user explained: “It’s obvious that any fast player can bring something to the table in a system where they can run into a lot of space after a counter or something like that. But his speed is not his best quality. I don’t even think it’s in his top 3 to be honest.
“What Auba does best is his movement off the ball. He is so tricky to defend because he’s usually one step ahead of the defender both physically and mentally. Of course his speed helps with that but it’s his mind that’s truly doing the work.”
Not clinical enough?
One criticism of Aubameyang is that he doesn’t always score as many chances as you’d expect. Despite the crazy number of goals he gets every season, he doesn’t always appear that clinical.
The Redditor argued: “Sure, the goals he scores are mostly ‘tap ins’. But [it’s because] he is right in front of the goal at the exact right moment. It’s not like he needs really accurate passes either. Often Dembele would not even look up before crossing because he just knew that Aubameyang was close by and that he’d make it work somehow.”
Having the ability to find space and create chances for yourself is almost as important as finishing them. Fans regard Harry Kane as one of the best strikers in the league, but when you look at his conversion rates, they aren’t particularly impressive. This season, he’s scored 20 goals from 130 shots. That’s one goal every 6.5 shots.
By comparison, most fans think Roberto Firmino is a decent striker, but nothing incredibly special. He has 10 goals, and one every 4.9 shots.
Both players have played 22 matches, but Kane has twice as many goals, because he takes so many more shots. This isn’t a criticism of the England man, it’s proof you don’t need to take every chance when you make yourself so many.
Aubameyang has scored one goal every 4.4 shots this season, so he’s pretty clinical. He’s also taken more than Firmino, with 57, in seven fewer matches.
That sort of combination can be deadly.
What about those disciplinary issues?
Finally, the Dortmund fan had a few words on the striker’s mentality. Words which I think Arsenal supporters will be happy to hear after the Sanchez debacle.
He wrote: “I’ve also almost never seen him being visibly annoyed at a team mate for not passing to him or for taking the shot themselves. He will also pass the ball a fair amount…if he thinks the other player has a better shot.
“It’s not like he’s constantly out partying and being reckless. For example one of the matches he was suspended for was because he visited his sister (or cousin?) on her birthday to meet up with his family.”
Hopefully that puts to rest some of the fears Arsenal fans might have about the signing.
Unfortunately, the main fear is that the Gunners won’t sign the striker at all. On that, we’ll just have to wait and see.