By Gianni Verschueren
Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been named CAF 2015 African Player of the year for his stunning campaign in the Bundesliga, predictably beating out Manchester City’s Yaya Toure.
The Gabon international was one of Europe’s most productive strikers in 2015, ranking among the continent’s top scorers, per World Soccer Talk.
The 26-year-old has played a key role in Dortmund’s resurgence in the 2015-16 campaign and has already scored 18 goals in 17 Bundesliga starts this season, per WhoScored.com.
His hot form and consistent scoring touch has not gone unnoticed, and transfer chatter surrounding his future has been almost constant in the last two years. So when the star forward missed training due to the award ceremony, the British media went a little crazy, with Sky Sports linking him with the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.
The speedster has steadily improved throughout his career, and while 2015 was undoubtedly a big year for Aubameyang, there’s every reason to believe 2016 will be even better.
He’s the focal point of Dortmund’s attack, and with Bayern Munich already holding an eight-point lead in the Bundesliga standings, Aubameyang and his team-mates will have their work cut out for them. It seems impossible to suggest he could maintain his current scoring average, but the opportunities are certainly there.
More success on the international stage would only elevate Aubameyang’s profile, with Gabon qualifying for the 2016 Africa Cup of Nations. He’ll also be aiming to guide Dortmund to this year’s UEFA Europa League final.
In a vote of coaches and technical directors of CAF member nations, Aubameyang earned 143 points, with Manchester City midfielder Toure, 32, the runner-up with 136 points.
Aubameyang is the first player from his country to win the award. Ghana and Swansea midfielder Andre Ayew, 26, was third with 112 points.
Toure, who had won the award in each of the previous four years, led his country to the Africa Cup of Nations title in February. He was recently voted BBC African Footballer of the Year 2015.
Herve Renard, who managed Ivory Coast to their Africa Cup of Nations victory, won the coach of the year award.
The Frenchman, who led Zambia to victory in the tournament in 2012, is the first person to coach two different countries to the title.
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