Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could scarcely have wished for a better league debut for Borussia Dortmund than the one he enjoyed on Saturday.
A summer signing from AS Saint-Étienne for a fee of around €14m, Aubameyang arrived in Germany having scored 35 Ligue 1 goals in the past two seasons. However, the Gabon striker came to the Bundesliga with a reputation for failing to be clinical in front of goal. Indeed he spurned a handful of clear chances in last weekend's German Cup tie against SV Wilhelmshaven. On Saturday, though, the 24-year-old banished any lingering preconceptions with a hat-trick in Dortmund's 4-0 victory against FC Augsburg.
'The Superhero', as German newspaper Bild dubbed him, became only the sixth player in Bundesliga history to register a treble on his debut in the top flight. "I'm not surprised at all with his performance," said Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp after the game. "I am surprised about the fact that all his shots went in, though. But it's obviously better for him to start this way, rather than missing all his chances."
Aubameyang himself was clearly happy with his BVB bow: "
Indescribable! It's a great day for me," he said. "The Bundesliga is a lot more intense than Ligue 1. The pace is higher, but I didn't let that affect my game. I enjoy playing for Dortmund. I want to work hard week in and week out and then we will see what's possible for us this season."
Should the scoring spree continue, fans can look forward to spectacular celebrations from the striker. In France, his repertoire included putting on a Spiderman mask after finding the net. On Saturday he restricted himself to a perfectly executed front flip. "It was my first goal in the Bundesliga and I wanted the celebration to be something special," he said.
However, he was not willing to repeat those exploits following his second and third goals of the match. "Managers generally don't like it that much," he said with a grin on his face. Klopp, however, was more concerned with seeing his new acquisition build on his fast start. "I know that he can still improve," said Klopp. "He can cause a lot of damage to opposing defences." Augsburg's back line will testify to that.
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