It looks increasingly like Manchester United need to give up on the romantic signing of Real Madrid‘s Cristiano Ronaldo, with ever-growing speculation that he is heading for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.
This leaves the Red Devils with a number of other options to explore, but there looks only one player who would truly do justice as an alternative, and that is Borussia Dortmund’s in-form star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The Gabon international has been in devastating form this season, scoring an incredible 21 goals in just 19 games, more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues. As well as his superbly prolific record, Aubameyang has all the attributes to be a success in the Premier League, and at United in particular – pace, strength, skill and terrific mental strength.
Rejected by AC Milan at a young age, Aubameyang has had to start again in an attempt to prove himself in Europe, coming to the fore at Saint-Etienne before earning his big move to Dortmund in the summer of 2013. Not instantly a regular starter for Jurgen Klopp’s side, Aubameyang was linked with a move to Newcastle for just £8m the following summer, but he has fought back again to become his side’s star player.
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At United, we have already seen the success of a similar player in Anthony Martial this term. The 19-year-old Frenchman is very much an Aubameyang of the future, and he has provided the ideal finishing touch to this Louis van Gaal’s side, bringing the pace and goal threat needed to allow a side stuffed to the brim with playmakers to succeed.
Still, the Frenchman is young and cannot be expected to replace Wayne Rooney straight away, even if he is arguably already the far better option up front. If United are to deal with his progress correctly, a move for Aubameyang now would be the best way to ease out Rooney and ease in Martial later.
The 26-year-old is unlikely to command as ridiculous a transfer fee as the Gareth Bales or Neymars of this world, though that won’t be the case for much longer if he carries on playing like this, which is why United must make this world class forward their top priority target for January, and put the Ronaldo fantasy to bed at last.