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It looks like, sooner rather than later, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s time at Borussia Dortmund will be up, with the Gabon hitman again linked with an imminent move away from the Bundesliga. Real Madrid’s reported interest may have died down, but the Central African has been linked with a move to Arsenal—as a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez—while there’s also interest from China. Having scored 44 goals across the last two seasons, the forward’s goals will be almost impossible to replace, but here are five African attackers who could help Dortmund get over his loss.
Still only 25, Aboubakar still arguably has his best years ahead of him, and has demonstrated an aptitude to adapt to new leagues and to bounce back from adversity during his career. He impressed in Turkey after being loaned out by FC Porto, and despite suggesting that he’d reached the end of the road in Portugal, has returned to form this season—netting 14 in 17 in the top flight. He’s also a class act in the Champions League—he scored five in five---and has the quality to hit the ground running in Germany.
Having been reportedly deemed surplus to requirements by David Moyes at West Ham United, Dede is available to move to Dortmund immediately as a replacement for Aubameyang. He’s not a like-for-like substitute for the Gabon international by any means, but his versatility in the final third would help BVB plug the gap left by the Central African, while Ayew would also weigh in with goals. Swansea City are also understood to be considering a move for the 28-year-old.
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Like Ayew, Slimani’s reputation has taken a dent over the last 18 months, with the Algeria forward failing to make his mark in the Premier League following his blockbuster move from Sporting Lisbon 18 months ago. Claude Puel has told journalists that he’s keen on keeping the striker at the King Power Stadium, but Dortmund may see an opportunity here, and the chance to sign a forward who’s effective and who knows where the goal is…even if he hasn’t always shown it in the East Midlands.
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Another Leicester City player who’s been tipped for the exit door during the January transfer window is Mahrez. The North African maestro has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, and while he should forget Barcelona, might another one of Europe’s giants—Dortmund—also be taking a look? He’s not a like-for-like replacement for Aubameyang, but if he can bring his recent Premier League form to Germany—he has seven goals and seven assists this season—then he could help BVB consolidate their Champions League berth.
Bakambu is another African hotshot who appears primed to move this window. He looks like he’s set to move to China on a £35 million deal after Beijing Guoan met his fee release clause, but Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion have also been linked to his signing. Until he signs on the dotted line in China, the Congolese frontman remains available. At that price, the 26-year-old would be an appealing prospect for BVB, and he has the intelligence and pace to thrive in the Bundesliga.