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Player Review: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang flipped into History this season, starting off the season with a bang. But overcomplicating the game became a problem for Aubameyang this season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang led Dortmund with 40 goals in all competitions during 2015-16.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang led Dortmund with 40 goals in all competitions during 2015-16.
Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Following a disastrous 2014-15 season seeing Dortmund finish in seventh place of the Bundesliga, the boys in black and yellow had a chance to make everything right again, starting with a chance to qualify for the UEFA Europa League. In an August 20 playoff match, things were looking grim.

Trailing 3-0 away to ODDs inside 25 minutes, it was Dortmund's sure-footed striker who provided the heroics. Aubameyang scored a brace - one before halftime and a second half equalizer - propelling Dortmund's 4-3 comeback victory en route to an 11-5 thumping on aggregate to qualify.

Aubameyang wasn't done yet. On September 23, he became the first player in Bundesliga history to score in each of the first six matches of the season. And he would extend that run of form to eight straight games before being held goalless in a league match. With 40 goals in all competitions, 25 of them came before the winter break.

2015-16 for Aubameyang was certainly his coming out party. Simply put, he was dominant for Dortmund. But not dominant enough. Auba would miss three matches down the stretch due to injury, and failed to score in any of Dortmund's final three matches - a stretch in which Dortmund went winless.

The striker garnered the ability to dictate a match, and used it to his ability throughout the majority of the season.

The Positives

Boy could he score! Watching Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang play this season was truly wonderful. He was so dangerous in the air, on the ground, and really all over the pitch. His speed - one of the fastest in the world - gave defenders and opponents alike major difficulties marking him.

His finishing prowess was admirable and he drew defenders to open up space for his wingers - Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus. He also assisted on five goals this season, and was a scoring threat every time he touched the ball. And when the pressure was on, he was able to deliver in the clutch.

He was never afraid to shoot the ball, which was also a negative at times (see below), but it made defenders think twice about stepping in to defend Aubameyang. And of course, it would be remiss to omit his hair. His opulant hairstyle was easily one of the best in the Bundesliga. But all kidding aside, it's obvious that Aubameyang is constantly improving and could likely become the top striker in the world.

The Negatives

Cheekiness was definitely one of Aubameyang's good qualities, but sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad. At times, Aubameyang would overcomplicate the game, focusing more on being skillful than being efficient. Rather than dribbling past a defender, Aubameyang would sometimes try to outskill his opponent.

These repeated attempts to be overly cheeky cost Aubameyang the chance to score more goals this season. Had he simplified his game and not tried to be fancy, a few more runs would have ended successfully, and a few more balls would have been in the back of the net.

Outlook

Given the fact that Aubameyang is still just 26 years old, the best football of his career is yet to come. With great talent comes plenty of transfer rumors. But fear not. Although he said it's been a dream of his to play for Real Madrid, I'm sure he's not the only footballer to have similar aspirations.

Aubameyang has said he's happy in Dortmund and doesn't see himself leaving anytime soon. Why else would he have signed until 2020. Not only will Aubameyang be back in top form next year, but I feel he will be even better than he was in 2015-16 if he plays a simpler brand of football.