Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Season. Too right he has.
If this award would have evaded him again this year there would have been justified uproar from not just inside Arsenal. Somehow at the end of the 2018/19 campaign, he was pipped to the post by Sergio Aguero, someone who didn’t outscore him despite netting three hat-tricks, and also, crucially, didn’t win the Golden Boot. Or at least share it.
Aubameyang’s lack of involvement in that team raised eyebrows, so if he were to have been omitted from the 2020/21 team then everyone’s hairy caterpillars would have taken off into orbit.
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Fortunately, he didn’t. Put in as a central striker alongside fellow African Sadio Mane and the league’s top scorer Jamie Vardy, he’s now completed his own hat-trick of being in the league Team of the Season at each of his last three clubs.
His final season with Saint-Étienne saw him claim his place in the UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year in 2012/13, after a 19-goal haul pushed his side into fifth spot in the table. Boosting his chances were the staggering 12 assists he also laid on for his teammates, a healthy tally for a sprightly 24-year-old.
That would be his final French venture before being snapped up by Borussia Dortmund that summer. Finding his feet in German football, he still hit 16 in his first Bundesliga outing, followed by another impressive tally of 25 across all competitions. It’s no surprise his most outstanding seasons came in tandem with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, as the pair struck up a remarkable partnership for the 2015/16 season.
Aubameyang scored 25 league goals (39 overall) en route to earning not only a spot in the Bundesliga Team of the Season, but the division’s Player of the Year award.
Even after the departure of his Armenian teammate, the Gabon striker continued his rich vein of goalscoring form by surpassing those figures to record his best individual season of goals.
31 in the league and 40 overall would, you’d think, earn him another Player of the Year gong, but bizarrely he was pipped to the post by RB Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg – he did score eight goals and rack up 22 assists in 30 games, but, whatever.
Still, Aubameyang obviously made the Team of the Season. Again.
So now onto the Premier League and his third league, he’s done it again. Technically we can say he’s made it into the best XI in each of the leagues he’s played in, since he never actually made a senior appearance with AC Milan. We can also chuck in six Confederation of African Football Team of the Year awards too, because, why not?
With the current season only one game long, he’s already got himself on the scoresheet, will undoubtedly be the Gunners’ top scorer again, while there is no reason to suggest he won’t be flirting with the Golden Boot once more.
A footballing machine who never eases off the pace, never takes a day off and shines wherever he goes. That’s Arsenal’s captain. How lucky we are.