Aubameyang Dropped from Squad Prior to Stuttgart Match
Borussia Dortmund desperately needed this last international break. A place atop the table has turned into a six-point gap between first place Bayern and third place BVB. The defence is leaking goals but more importantly the potent offence is beginning to struggle. The match today against Stuttgart was an important match to restart the season, especially after the tough October/November schedule. However, even before taking the field, Dortmund have suffered a serious blow as the club has suspended Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from the squad.
The announcement came on Thursday from nowhere, with the club simply saying he was suspended for violating team rules. As any American college football fan will tell you, that’s both a troubling and suspicious reason for a suspension. News sources of the ilk of The Daily Mail have reported that the forward was seen in Barcelona during the international break going out at night with former teammate Ousmane Dembele.
The Gabon international has again put up impressive numbers, pacing the club with ten goals through eleven match days. However, he has not scored since he recorded a brace against Leipzig on October 14 and his play in recent competitions has been noticeably poor. Simple things like mistimed runs and poor choices in front of the net have left Dortmund with a scoring void. This offseason, Auba was rumoured to be in line for a move to the Chinese Super League, although the deal fell through. In addition, reports from Barcelona (the club) stated that people from the forward’s camp approached the Catalan club about a possible transfer bid, but Barcelona turned down the opportunity. Might it be possible he is still upset by the failed moves and that he remains in Dortmund?
Regardless, under fire Peter Bosz now has a decision to make when writing his starting XI. If Bosz remains faithful to his 4-3-3 style, it is likely that Alexander Isak steps in to replace Auba. The Sweden international played well in his start against Magdeburg in the last DFB-Pokal match, scoring once and assisting another goal while generally being a threat throughout. However, he has a total of five minutes of time in the Bundesliga this season, all coming in a substitute appearance against Cologne in September. For the match against Stuttgart, Isak would be a quality option. Long-term, however, this situation could derail any hopes Dortmund have of a trophy this season. A disgruntled or unhappy Auba leaves a massive hole in the middle of the frontline that cannot be replaced in the winter transfer window. Dortmund’s management have to figure out their mercurial striker’s situation and fast so as not to disrupt the entire club.