Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still a player of Borussia Dortmund but reports are swirling about a possible departure of the star striker this summer with PSG being the probably destination. A transfer seems likely at this point so it might be time to take a look at the possible replacements for Auba. Luckily Zorc will probably get in excess of 70€ million for him which should be enough to at least soften the blow.
Team: U.C. Sampdoria - Age: 21 - 16/17: 35 games, 13 goals/5 assists
Patrik Schick has gotten a lot of attention as of late because of his fantastic season with Sampdoria in the Serie A. The young Czech has been heavily linked to Juve but a move to Dortmund still seems like a real possibility, at least BVB can promise him actual playing time unlike Juventus.
The left footed striker is actually deceivingly fast despite his height (186cm/6ft 1) and has a good technique. Schick knows how to use his body to his advantage and shield the ball from defenders to get the separation he needs, either to finish chances or deliver the last pass which he is able to do. An area where he could definitely improve is his positioning, unlike Aubameyang, Schick is a work horse that is actively involved in the build up rather than a player who is at the right place at the right time. His playing style doesn't really remind you of Auba but rather Robert Lewandowski.
Team: Ajax Amsterdam - Age: 19 - 16/17: 48 games, 23 goals/8 assists
The Danish wunderkind is Europe's latest darling, he's being linked to most European top clubs and it's not hard to see why. Dolberg is extremely far in his development for a 19-year-old who just finished his first season as a pro. It might sound weird but he doesn't really possess one trait that he excels in, he's a well rounded player that can do a bit of everything; his positioning is good, he has great technique and solid finishing. However Dolberg lacks elite pace especially compared to Aubameyang (which is a bit unfair I know). In an offense with players like Dembélé, Reus and Pulisic his lack of top end speed might be a detriment.
Furthermore he is still a teenager who lacks experience and would probably lack consistency in his first season especially if you consider the fact that he played in the Eredivisie which is a good league but still inferior to the Bundesliga.
Team: Manchester City - Age: 20 - 16/17: 29 games, 7 goals/3 assists
Out of all the people on this list Kelechi Iheanacho is quite possibly the player that would remind you the most of Aubameyang. The Nigerian international just has this natural instinct that a striker needs, he always seems to be in the exact right place to score. In his three years of Premier League action, he has scored most of his goals from inside the box, most of them being tap-ins. The left-footed striker can create the needed space for himself in the box because of his athleticism and has the calmness in front of the goal to finish off chances.
Iheanacho will be available because he is stuck behind Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus on the ManCity depth chart. However rumors suggest that he prefers to stay in the Premier League being linked to West Ham and several other teams. Nevertheless if Dortmund is really interested in him they should at least be able to make him an interesting offer.
Team: FC Malaga - Age: 21 - 16/17: 31 games, 16 goals/5 assists
Ramirez had somewhat of a breakout season with Malaga in 16/17 after he transferred from Barcelona last summer. Malaga gave him the starting spot at striker and he delivered, scoring 16 goals and generally being their best player this season.
Ramirez excels with his pace, instinct and finishing, you won't find many strikers with a shooting technique like his. The 21-year-old scored several of his goals from outside the box, an area where BVB struggled last season. Another big plus about the Spaniard is that he would be available on the cheap because of a release clause in his contract. The exact figure of the clause is unknown but rumors suggest it is anywhere between 6-12€ million which would truly make him a steal.
Team: OGC Nice - Age: 26 - 16/17: 28 games, 17 goals/1 assist
Well...what can be said about Balotelli that hasn't already been said? He truly is the enfant terrible of the football world and just when everybody is ready to write him off completely, he transfers to Nice and actually delivers a solid season.
It wasn't all perfect, far from it, he got three red cards in 28 games as a striker(!) and still had some games where he looked bored and disinterested. However he still managed to score 17 goals. The Italian striker has all the tools to be an elite player but he just seems unwilling to put the work in that is necessary. Nevertheless he was productive under Lucien Favre who might very well be Dortmund's next coach. Balotelli's contract runs out this summer and he probably won't sign an extension which means he could transfer on a free. This coupled with the fact that Favre actually got some production out of him could mean both of them join up once again in Dortmund. Getting him in addition to one of the youngsters on this list might actually be a good combo to replace Aubameyang but there is a catch, his agent is Mino Raiola. The infamous agent who forced Mkhitaryan's move out of Dortmund last summer isn't exactly well-liked in Dortmund but maybe those issues could be worked through.
Team: Olympique Lyon - Age: 26 - 16/17: 45 games, 37 goals/5 assists
Lacazette is undoubtedly one of the best strikers on the market right now. There is even an argument to be made that he would not just be a replacement for Aubameyang but maybe even an upgrade.
The Frenchman is the whole package, he's fast, has the needed composure in front of the goal as evidenced by his 37 goals across all competitions and what's most impressive about him is his ability to facilitate the build-up play. I've rarely seen a striker who is this involved in his teams offense an still has the ability to finish off chances. While Auba stayed mostly in the box, Lacazette on the other hand roams around a bit more, sometimes even dropping into midfield to give the team another passing option. Lacazette combining with Reus, Dembélé, Pulisic or Kagawa could really open up entirely new possibilities for the offense.
It seemed like his transfer to Atletico Madrid was already a sure thing but Atleti's transfer ban was upheld which means they can't sign any new players this summer (they could technically sign players but they can't play for them until January 2018). This could be BVB's chance to swoop in and get him. That is if Zorc and Watzke are ready to eviscerate their transfer record and shake up Dortmund's wage structure.
Team: Real Madrid - Age: 24 - 16/17: 42 games, 20 goals/6 assists
The fact that Morata seems to be even remotely available is still kinda baffling. The 24-year-old has already played for Juventus and Real and has excelled at both clubs but if reports are to be believed it seems that the striker would actually be allowed to leave Real this summer. So even if it is a bit outlandish let's entertain the thought for a moment.
Morata is simply a world class striker. There is practically nothing he can't do on a football field. He has excellent ball control with both feet even at high speed, combined with his excellent vision and athleticism he can create open spaces for his teammates which is just one of his many virtues. He can shoot with both feet, remains calm in front of the goal and due to his size he is also an aerial threat. There is absolutely no doubt that Morata would be an excellent player to replace Aubameyang but it is doubtful that Dortmund would spend the money necessary to get a player of his caliber.
What do you guys think, any intriguing options on this list? Let us know in the comments.