Aubameyang: A Player Twice Revived
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Aubameyang: A Player Twice Revived

08/03/24 17:08

They say lighting does not strike on the same spot twice. Well, it may just have struck twice on Aubameyang twice after all. Let me explain.

The Gabonese striker’s career seemed to be done and dusted at Arsenal in late 2021. However, he secured a shocking deadline day move to Barcelona in January 2022. It seemed like a recipe for disaster, with Barcelona having one of their worst campaigns in their history as well. However, Auba stunned everybody and was incredible for the Catalan club. He helped guide the team to a second place finish, which seemed near impossible at one point in the season for Barcelona. He also dropped an iconic performance at the Bernabéu. And thus, Barcelona were even able to sell him for around €12m to Chelsea, only half a season after signing him for free. Auba looked rejuvenated. And that was your first strike of lightning.

After moving to Stamford Bridge, expectations were high on Auba again. However, mere days after the Gabonese arrived, Thomas Tuchel departed the club. Tuchel was one of Aubameyang’s biggest supporters and had pushed for his arrival. He was replaced by Graham Potter, who benched Auba and rarely utilised him. The striker’s career seemed to be stagnating again and he was determined to depart Chelsea. He looked like a shadow of the player he was at Barcelona. He even tried to return to the Blaugranas in the summer of 2023 but they decided not to sign him, preferring to invest their money on Vitor Roque instead.

Everyone had given up on Aubameyang yet again. He arrived to Marseille, being labelled “finished” by the mainstream media. Unfortunately for them, the striker was far from finished. He did have a slow start to life at the French Club. He was even booed by the supporters at one point. However, when the goals started coming, they were very difficult to stop.

Under Gennaro Gattuso, Aubameyang looks a man reborn. He has been vital for the club in both the league and the Europa League, where he once again netted twice in the Europa League Round of 16 fixture against Villarreal last night. Marseille are placed 7 in the league table right now and Aubameyang has been pivotal in getting them there. He has a staggering 21 goals (9 in the Europa League) and 8 assists so far for the French club in only 36 appearances. These stats look even more impressive when you consider his age as well, because Auba is currently 34 years old.

And just like that, Aubameyang is one of the best strikers in the world again. Whilst he may not be the same player he was at Dortmund and Arsenal, he’s still managed to silence all his doubters. Whilst he’s lost his explosive acceleration, he more than makes up for it with his clinical finishing. Barcelona manager Xavi also lauded his character as well, on more than one occasion. The Gabonese seemed described himself as a “vengeful character” and was determined to showcase his abilities on the European stage one more time, when the season first began. His exact words were :

“I am a vengeful person. I don't want to leave Europe until I have made my point. I know that this is not necessarily an easy club to play for because there is a lot of expectation. But that's what I like. As a footballer, you have to know how to accept pressure, to live with it. I think that's what makes us better players.”

And that right there was the second strike of lighting. There are still a few games to go in the season and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the campaign goes for Auba. His example has helped me prove that lightning does strike twice after all though. You just have to know where to look. Don’t let the agendas blind you.

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