Jurgen Klopp believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has “no real weaknesses” aside from his choice of clothing.
The 30-year-old Gabonese marksman reacquaints with his former Borussia Dortmund manager when Arsenal visit Liverpool on Saturday evening.
Klopp coached Aubameyang for two seasons at the Westfalenstadion during which time he registered 41 goals across 93 matches in all competitions and created a further 16 for his teammates.
He more than most knows how good the Gunners leading goalscorer is; last season Aubameyang, playing his first complete Premier League season, bagged 22 goals which meant he shared the Golden Boot with Reds pairing Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Aubameyang will undoubtedly be Unai Emery’s biggest threat at Anfield and his opposite number Klopp had nothing but praise for his former striker – well, just about.
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“It is four years since I worked with him,” he told reporters.
“Everybody knows everything about everybody, that is how it is and there are no surprises.
“Auba has actually no real weaknesses apart from his fashion style. When we played them so far we could kind of defend him but it is never possible to do it 100 per cent properly because of the speed he has. It’s just difficult.
“We know that, we have to work with it, deal with it. We did it in the past, we have to do it again and create our own moments.”
Klopp expounded on how and why he converted Aubameyang into a centre-forward at Dortmund.
“He was playing as a winger with St‑Étienne when we signed him so that’s how we used him at first,” he added.
“Then we suddenly needed a No 9 because [Robert] Lewandowski left us, and when we tried Auba we realised he is a really good central striker. It did not happen immediately, but over time he developed incredibly in the position and became a goal machine.
“I have to say his finishing is incredible. Combine that with his speed and it makes for a really interesting opponent.”
Five key things to know about Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s career…
- A former AC Milan academy player, Aubameyang scored 41 goals in 97 games for Saint-Étienne before joining Borussia Dortmund in 2013.
- He first worked under Jurgen Klopp – with whom he scored 41 goals in 93 games – then Thomas Tuchel, Peter Bosz and Peter Stöger prior to joining Arsenal.
- His first campaign for the Gunners, the backend of 2017/18 season, saw him score 10 league goals in 13 appearances.
- Last season he bagged 22 goals in 36 outings meaning he shared the Golden Boot with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
- Aubameyang has begun the 2019/20 season with two goals in two games.