Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was left out of the club’s crucial UEFA Champions League tie against Sporting last night, after getting suspended due to ‘internal reasons’.
Aubameyang has been in hot form this season, having already scored 10 goals in 13 games for Dortmund in all competitions.
He was, therefore, fully expected to start the game last night, which is why it came as quite a shock to everyone when his name was absent from the 18-man squad. Things became even more bizarre when the 27-year-old was spotted at Signal Iduna Park, watching his teammates secure the 1-0 win from the stands.
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke spoke about the incident with ZDF.
“The internal reasons are exactly that, internal,” he said. “I will not say anything. But the good thing is he will be fresh against Hamburg. He will be back in the squad against Hamburg.”
Watze also spoke to Sky, where he revealed: “That’s because of internal reasons. The coach has decided that way. You can ask three times. You guys live off speculations so go ahead and speculate.”
Coach Thomas Tuchel himself commented on his decision, by telling Sky: “We totally accept there will be speculation. But internal means internal.”
And as both men predicted, a lot of speculation has surely arisen about the mystery reason behind the Gabon international’s absence.
The most reliable one has been provided by trusted German source Bild, who claim that Aubameyang was left out of the squad for using his cell phone during a pre-match team meeting ahead of the game.
However, some sources have gone a step further by already beginning to speculate about the striker’s future at the club, with many linking him with a potential switch to Spanish giants Real Madrid – a transfer Aubameyang once described as his “dream move” – as soon as this coming January window.