Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been a joy to watch since he arrived at the Emirates 18 months ago.
He is a natural goalscorer, and he very much deserved to pick up the golden boot award for his 22 Premier League goals this season, matching Liverpool pair Mo Salah and Sadio Mane.
Aubameyang has had a strange career up until now. He has generally scored goals at every club he has been at, firing in 41 in 97 for Saint-Etienne before becoming a regular scorer for Dortmund, finishing as the Bundesliga’s top scorer in 2016/17.
Despite that, the German club were willing to sell up in 2018, with many citing disciplinary issues as the main cause of friction between management and the player.
Since arriving in England, we haven’t seen any of that. He likes a laugh with his teammates on and off the pitch and hardly looks like the trouble maker he was painted by some in Germany before his £56m signing.
Already 28 by the time he made his move to Arsenal, Aubameyang had to hit the ground running. He wasn’t a player signed for the future by Arsene Wenger and the board. He was recruited for the ‘here’ and ‘now.’
The Gabon international more than lived up to the hype by bagging ten goals in 13 Premier League appearances in the second half of last season.
This campaign, he had to prove himself again to a new manager in Unai Emery. The Spaniard was initially reluctant to play both him and strike partner Alexandre Lacazette in the same side, and when both were selected, Aubameyang was the one who was shunted to the left wing.
Even so, the forward kept banging in the goals and was a key part of the club’s 22-match unbeaten run in the first half of the season. Every time a question has been asked of him in his career, he has come up with the goods.
After being pushed out of the door at Dortmund, it seems Aubameyang has finally found a home for himself at Arsenal, where the manager, players and fans alike all appreciate his contribution. At 29, there is a massive potential for more Premier League golden boots in the years to come as well.
The amount paid for the striker now seems like a small sum, considering what he brings to the team. As the Gunners prepare for a summer with a small transfer budget, it’s a telling reminder of what investing in quality players gets you.