Borussia Dortmund Sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang For €13 million

Robert Lewandowski’s Successor?

Champions League finalists and every football hipsters’ favourite side Borussia Dortmund have pulled off arguably one of the signings of the summer so far, after prying Saint-Étienne attacker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang away from the hands of his 5th club in his professional career.

The 24-year old made the move to Germany for an undisclosed fee, which is reported to be within the region of €13 million, a relatively modest figure for a player of Aubameyang’s caliber in this day age.

This move comes at a good time for both the player and his new employers, as Aubameyang is entering his prime with nearly 5 years of professional football under his belt, while Jurgen Klopp’s side are looking for someone to fill the shoes of want-away striker Robert Lewandowski. The in-demand Poland international is expected to depart Dortmund at some stage during the next year with his contract up the end of the upcoming season.

Pealeft_original

How BVB could line up next season

The Gabonese speedster is known for his pace in abundance along with an eager eye for goal. Adept at playing as a striker or as a wide forward/winger, PEA  is a natural in any position across the frontline.

After racking up an impressive 19 goals and 9 assists in 37 appearances last season in the French top tier, Aubameyang also helped his side to win their inaugural Coupe De La League (French League Cup) since the competition was founded in 1994.Standing tall at 6 2″ the former Milan man is strong in the air and also possesses an eye for a decisive pass. Coupled with his excellent finishing, Aubameyang seems to have all the attributes Jurgen Klopp would usually look for in a player.

For now, he will most likely fill in for new Bayern Munich center-piece Mario Gotze, whose high-profile infuriated Dortmund fans and football hipsters alike.

For the fee paid by Dortumund to Saint-Étienne, the Bundesliga runners-up would have searched long and hard to find such a player for such a price, and it will be particularly interesting to see how the Gabonese utility man performs in his new surroundings.

Below is a video showing all of PEA’s goals and assists in a green shirt last season. That second goal is an absolute belter.

Competing for Dreams, Ross Merriman. (Guest Article)

In 2011, these 6 players were all under 20 years old. Now, they are above it. In 2011, they were all in contention to join Europe’s elite. 3 of them made it. 3 of them failed. These are their stories.

 

Those who failed.

 

 Adem Ljajic.

 

At 17, an agreement to join Old Trafford, broke down. At 21, Fiorentina’s attacking mid remains unknown to most, and a live punch up with his manager following a substitution is his biggest claim to fame.

 

Once dubbed “Little Kaka”, Ljajic is yet to make any sort of impression in world football. Scoring just 5 times in over 65 appearances, the feisty Serb is praised mostly for his pace and ability to take players on.

 

Subbed and sarcastically clapped by manager Delio Rossi just last year, he was punched by the man moments later as he proceeded to the bench. Adem didn’t like this and there is a debate over his reaction and the brawl between the duo. Nevertheless, he appears to have been innocent enough as Rossi was sacked the next day and Ljajic went unpunished.

 

That, however, is the extent of Ljajic’s story. Sympathy where it’s due, but unfortunately for him, his chances of making it to the world stage seem to be thinning by the match.

 

Success rating on making it big time – 4/10

 

 

Connor Wickham.

 

The Emblem of Ipswitch Town.

The shining light of the Championship.

Hat tricks galore and England U17 Star.

But that was in 2011, and now he fights a relegation battle on the bench.

 

He’s no stranger to Championship football, that’s for sure. Joining Ipswitch before he was even a teenager was step one to becoming a club legend. At 17 he was a regular sub, and 18, the clubs top scorer that year. The fans cried his name from the terraces, homework was left undone and he was the hero of a small city.

 

The premiership beats Ipswitch any day, but I wonder if Connor would be saying that now? At 19, he moved to Sunderland FC, and that was the last we saw of the man hailed the next Wayne Rooney.

 

He makes an appearance from the bench every now and then… sure he does. However, sitting around in the stadium of light is not the preferred weekend activities of someone who could taste his greatest dreams two years ago.

He was praised a fantastic finisher and the most level headed football for years. It makes no difference now. Europe’s future is no longer Wickham. And it’s almost impossible to see him turn that around.

 

Success rating on making it big time – 2/10

 

 

 

 

Aaron Ramsey.

 

Captain of Wales. Arsenal Regular. The next Xavi? Assaulted by Shawcross. Victim of murder hoax. Slipping down the pecking order…FAST.

 

You cannot ever say that Ramsey is not a tough guy. That should be written into law.

He laughed off an Internet established theory that whenever he scored, a celebrity died. Although he never forgave Ryan Shawcross, he overcame a major injury setback when his leg was purposely broken on the field. And even though he has the likes of Wilshere, Arteta, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Diaby, and Coquelin to compete with, he still battles away with the club he loves week after week, even if that means his job is sitting down.

 

Cesc Fabregas famously stated “If I go to sleep, I will wake up and find Aaron in my place”. Not many footballers can have that said about them. This guy was constantly hailed for his successive work rate, and his ability to pass swiftly while maintaining his great vision during play.

Unfortunately, this is no longer the case, and he has undoubtedly worsened through age.

It goes without saying, if you’re not the cream of the crop, football can be a very tough life indeed.

 

Success ranking in making it big time – 5/10

 

 

 

Those who made it.

 

Jack Wilshere.

School dropout and teenage father,

to main man for club and country.

 

In 2011 Jack the Lad was England’s next big thing.

18 brutal, injury laden months later, he’s further up that ladder. With added ruthless characteristics enhanced in his play, and more of an eye for goal, he’s easily among the world’s best midfielders already.

Jack is picking up Man of the Match awards like he does yellow card. For want of a better word, constantly.

Praise from La Liga’s very best and the award for best young player two seasons ago seem to have pushed him farther.

What role will he play in the future of Arsenal?

Will Gooners cherish him like Scousers do Gerard?

 

Only time will tell, and currently, Arsenal’s Number 10 is their best player. He’s gonna want to make it stay that way.

 

Success rating on making it big time – 9/10

 

 

 

Christian Eriksen.

Poland and Ukraine were entertained by this wonder-kid. The heart and soul of Ajax FC, when he decides to move on, his price tag will be above £20M and his contract guaranteeing Champions League football. Much like Neymar, he’s a ready made superstar.

 

Throughout his childhood, he was hailed a Danish wonder.

However, it was always going to be a difficult task making a  name for himself in the footballing world.

Yet, through hard work, dedication and raw talent, his improvement has been outstanding and a move to Bayern or United seems likely come summer.

The displays he showed for EURO 2012 attracted plenty of new fans, and secured his name as a “future star”. His swift runs of play, and slick passing along with Bendtner’s run of form aided the Danes greatly.

 

Despite being offered a place in Chelsea’s academy following a teenage trial, he decided that Holland was a better place to learn the game. He lead the victory Ajax had over City in this years Champions League group stages also.

This is a player we should all watch out for. His arrival to the Premier League would be similar to that of Eden Hazard, and with less pressure, perhaps more influential. His rating would be higher, but for the fact he still plays in the Eredivisie.

 

Success rating on making it big time – 8/10

 

 

 

 

Mario Gotze.

 

In 2011, he finished school and spent the summer holidays interning. They said he could be the next Mesut Ozil. Two years, and two Bundesliga wins later, he’s probably better.

 

Let’s flick back to 2009. 4 whole years ago. Mario looks up at the clock. It’s the 97th minute, in the final of the U17 European Championships. Netherlands 1 – 1 Germany. That’s all that needs to be said. Mario captained Germany to the title and he won player of the tournament.

 

Perhaps that was the beginning of his epic journey. His journey not only to worldwide fame and admiration, but to TWO Bundesliga titles. With a club that should have been heavily outweighed by their Munich rivals. Many would say that without his qualities and ridiculously positive attitude, that never would have happened.

 

He is two footed, plays on the tips of his toes and silently executes the defenders that walk in his way. You would think he could mean no more, but you’d be surprised.

He is the first full German international to be born in reunified Germany. He is a future legend, no doubt. It’s tricky to see him NOT dominating European football for many years to come. Genius

Success rating on making it big time – 10/10

 

 

 

Samed Yesil: The German Prodigy

It is seldom in football nowadays that you see a highly-rated youngster move club for such a minute fee to a big club, especially when he is touted to be one of his country’s biggest prospects. The Dusseldorf-born striker has so far opted to play for his country of birth rather than his parents’ home nation, at least for the German U-19 side and below. He can still chose between Turkey and Germany, although it is difficult to see him reverting back to the former, after such stellar work has been carried out by the youngster for the Germans’ youth sides. Liverpool legend Sami Hyppia, now manager of Leverkusen, helped convince Yesil last summer that making the move to the Merseyside club would be a step forward in his career. A step that most Liverpool fans hope he will not regret.

 

With opportunities far from a premium at the Bundesliga side, Yesil made a seemingly wise move from the struggling German contingent to the most successful club in England’s history. Having made 2 appearances for Liverpool’s senior side, both coming in the Capital One Cup, the vast majority of onlookers would agree that he has looked distinctly average, raw for want of a better word. But taking into consideration that he was, and still is, far from the finished article at the time of making these cameo appearances, one should not dwell too much on the fact that these outings were not overly-fruitful ones for the teenager. With both of these short-lived performances coming against relatively strong Premier League outfits Swansea and West Brom, it was not an easy task to make his mark for the Anfield side. Brendan Rodgers has already shown his passion for bleeding more youth at the highest level numerous times this season, through players such as Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom. Although now that Liverpool have summer signing Fabio Borini back from the dead, along with the recent signing of Daniel Sturridge, Yesil’s chances will most likely be very limited until the end of the current campaign.

 

Yesil is one of the European football scene’s more prolific front-men at his age group. He boasts a staggering goal-scoring record for his current and previous sides, netting 8 times in 6 appearances for Germany’s U-19s and 57 times in 71 games for Bayer Leverkusen’s youth sides. His 3 goals at the U-17 European Championships in 2011 were dwarfed by his next achievement, as he went on to claim the prestigious ‘Golden Boot’ accolade in the U-17 World Cup, scoring 6 goals in the process, but losing out to hosts and eventual victors Mexico in the semi-final.

 

The 18-year old is no stranger to putting the ball between the sticks, and is nick-named ‘Gerd’ by some team-mates, after German legend Gerd Muller. Upon making the transition to England, Yesil had a lot of work to do in an attempt to grab a place in Liverpool’s youth sides, as they sport some of England’s finest young talent. In recent months, the teen has built more of a name for himself amongst the Anfield faithful after a relatively subdued start, finding solid form for the U-21s and U-19s, bagging a few aesthetically appeasing goals along the way. His two best finishes in a Liverpool shirt are undoubtedly his first goal for his new side against Crystal Palace U-21 (a well-measured chip), and a sumptuous backheel against Singapore’s U19 outfit.

Chip v Palace

Backheel v Singapore

Yesil has all the right tools in his armory. With pace, nimble footwork and an immeasurable finish at his disposal, the Turk has a bright career on the horizon. If he is nurtured properly by the Red’s coaching staff, he could soon become a regular fixture on the Premier League club’s team sheet for years to come. As long as no major hiccups get in the way of what could be a hugely illustrious career for the Liverpool talisman, we could be looking at a potential world-class pedigree player in the making, and Brendan Rodgers looks to have an almost certain prodigy on his hands.