Speaking to the Arsenal official website, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has revealed the reason behind his decision to play for Gabon.
The former Borussia Dortmund player was born in France, to a Swiss mother. Therefore, he was eligible to represent either of these two countries, and had he chosen to do either, he would have been a regular feature of the FIFA World Cup and the UEFA European Championship. Yet, with Gabon, he hasn’t as of yet reached the World Cup, and has only once got past the group stage of the African Cup of Nations since he broke into the team.
The reason for this rather interesting decision lies in the fact that his father, Pierre, was the captain of the Gabon national team, and now the striker has every intention of following in his footsteps. Pierre Aubameyang has 80 caps to his name, and he spent most of his playing days at French team Stade Lavallois. Now, he is employed as a scout at AC Milan.
The Arsenal striker says he had made this decision as very young, even though he played for the France U21 side. He says the choice for him was very clear.
In 2007, Aubameyang joined AC Milan’s youth team, but he never made a single first-team appearance for the Rossoneri. He spent a couple of seasons on loans in France, at Dijon, Lille and Monaco, before moving permanently to Saint-Etienne.
After three relatively successful seasons at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, he moved to Borussia Dortmund under the current Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp in 2013. In four-and-a-half seasons he played there, he played 213 games and scored 141 goals.
Such an excellent output, coupled with his style of play, his pace, ability to make smart, lightning-quick runs in behind as well as fantastic finishing, is no doubt the reason Arsene Wenger saw in him the man with enough quality to be the Gunners’ main source of goals.
For Gabon, he made 56 appearances so far, and scored 23 goals.
Even though Aubameyang is ineligible to play for Arsenal in the Europa League, the Gunners can be backed at 2/9 to progress to the semifinal of the competition.