By Germany correspondent Hans Matthias
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has revealed how Jurgen Klopp helped nurture him into one of the world’s most feared front men ahead of their reunion on Thursday.
The Gabon forward has become one of the hottest properties in Europe and he showed that again on Saturday with an expertly taken goal in Borussia Dortmund’s dramatic 3-2 win over Werder Bremen, a victory that has secured his side’s place in the Champions League next season.
Aubameyang has scored an astonishing 36 goals in 41 Dortmund matches this season, 23 of which have come in 26 Bundesliga matches.
He has blossomed at the German club following his move from St Etienne in 2013, first under Klopp and then the Liverpool manager’s successor Thomas Tuchel.
The 26-year-old striker is preparing for Thursday’s Europa League quarter-final with Liverpool, when Klopp will return to Signal Iduna Park for the first time since he ended his hugely successful seven-year spell last May.
There is clearly a great affinity between the pair and Aubameyang is looking forward to speaking with his mentor once again.
“I owe him a lot,” said Aubameyang, as quoted in the Mail on Sunday. “It was great to work with him and he taught me many things. If I play like this as a striker now, it is because of him a little bit.
“I do not know what I will say when I see him again. All I know is that it will start with hello! We will speak a little bit in German, maybe. We will see what happens.
“It is very great for us to have this game. We can show him that we have worked hard to get back to where we were and that we have progression. It will be a very difficult game, for sure, but we want to show Klopp that we are working very hard.”
Aubameyang trails another Klopp graduate, Robert Lewandowski by two goals in the race to be crowned Germany’s leading striker, with the Pole topping the Bundesliga charts with 25 strikes.
“It is a big target,” said Aubameyang, as quoted by the Mail. “Of course it is very hard to follow Lewandowski. But it is a very good target to have and I am really happy to have scored again. I know that this competition has not finished.
“The battle will be on until the end and we will see who will be the champion! I am really happy to get to the number I have got so far.”