At the start of February, Cristiano Ronaldo turned 32, moving a year closer to retirement and nearer to the stage where he will no longer be Real Madrid's talisman.
The Portuguese forward is a man who has exceeded all expectations since moving from Manchester United as a 24-year-old, scoring 274 times in 245 appearances for Los Blancos, who turned him from a prolific attacker into a superstar.
However, he cannot continue to be Madrid's saviour, and the club seriously needs to consider viable candidates to take on that mantle for the next few years.
Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been touted as a €70 million signing for Zinedine Zidane's side, and is consdiered an option to replace Karim Benzema in attack thanks to his excellent return in this season's Bundesliga campaign.
Aubameyang has 17 goals in 18 appearances in the league this term, as well as four goals in the Champions League for BVB. But instead of replacing Benzema in attack, the Gabon international could be moulded to become Ronaldo's successor.
The similarities between the two players are striking. Both, for example, are equally adept at playing as a right forward or through the middle.
After joining from Sporting CP, Ronaldo impressed at Manchester United but has really flourished at Real Madrid. Aubameyang is currently impressing at Dortmund following his move from Saint-Etienne, but could move to the next level if he arrives at Santiago Bernabeu.
The 27-year-old has already expressed his desire to line out in the all-white strip, telling beIN Sports that it is a family desire to play for Real. "Yes, it's a promise I made to my grandfather," Aubameyang said. "Right now I feel very good at Dortmund but in the future we'll see."
A summer move would allow Aubameyang to play alongside Ronaldo, and learn from him in training as well as on the pitch. There, Ronaldo could help elevate the Gabon ace from one of the best forwards in the world to the best player in the world.
Like Ronaldo before him, Aubameyang has proven himself an asset wherever he has been. He was often utilised on the right of the attack for Saint-Etienne, and chipped in with 17 and 19 goals in his final two Ligue 1 seasons to attract the attention of Dortmund.
In the Bundesliga, he has progressed even more. A return of 13 league goals in his first season has been improved upon every year, with 16 and 25 in the following campaigns, while his current tally of 17 goals in 18 games means that he is set to shatter his personal best and walk away with the top scorer award once more.
This season's statistics are all the more impressive when Borussia Dortmund's form is taken into account. They are currently 15 points adrift of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich, having won just nine of their 20 games so far. Of their 40 goals, Aubameyang has scored almost half (42.5 per cent).
Compare that to Ronaldo and Real Madrid's current form in La Liga. With the same number of league games played, Real lead the pack, having won 15 and lost just one of their matches. Ronaldo has chipped in with 14 of their 54 goals (25.9 per cent), thanks to a greater wealth of talent throughout the squad.
At Dortmund, Aubameyang has averaged a league goal every 123 minutes and a Champions League one every 180 minutes. With team-mates like Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Ronaldo, there is no reason to doubt his ability to come close to Cristiano's league and Champions League goal every 79 and 90 minutes respectively.
Aubameyang would be a success at Real Madrid, where he would be tutored and surrounded by the world's best. Who better to make the new Ronaldo than Ronaldo himself?