The reasons for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s one-game suspension in Borussia Dortmund’s 1-0 win against Sporting have been revealed.
The midweek drama surrounding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can finally be out to rest as various outlets confirmed the reason for his omission from the squad that beat Sporting on Wednesday evening. Despite training on Wednesday morning, Aubameyang missed out on the squad with mysterious “internal reasons” given as the explanation. Naturally, that sparked mass speculation, though Hans-Joachim Watzke, Thomas Tuchel, and Michael Zorn refused to divulge any more information.
On Thursday afternoon, reports confirmed Aubameyang was suspended by Tuchel after the head coach learned of a secret trip made by the Gabonese on Monday. Monday was a training free day for Dortmund players and Aubameyang took the opportunity to fly to Milan to attend a birthday party with family and friends. Though he was on time for training on Tuesday, having rushed back, it is obviously frowned upon to fly around Europe without the permission of the club, particularly in a week with a Champions League fixture.
Having found out about the excursion, Tuchel confronted the striker and it was decided on Wednesday afternoon that he would play no part against Sporting. “It is an internal issue and it will remain an internal issue,” said the BVB head coach before the game. “There was no other choice.” Aubameyang will be back in the squad for the trip to Hamburg on Saturday. With that settled, the issue was a minor one and there is little left to discuss. Needless to say, the media will use the story to suggest there is larger discourse between Aubameyang and Tuchel but there is nothing to back that up.
Schmelzer, Kagawa, Durm back in team training
On Thursday, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put in extra hours together with Marco Reus and Emre Mor. The group of three stayed out for some additional shooting practice including direct freekicks and penalties.
— Ruhr Nachrichten BVB (@RNBVB) November 3, 2016
The wait might be over for Marcel Schmelzer and Shinji Kagawa to return to the team. While the Japanese failed to make the squad due to a knock he picked up against Schalke, Schmelzer had been ruled out since Matchday 7. The left-back tore an adductor muscle in Dortmund’s 1-1 draw against Hertha Berlin. Schmelzer might be fit to play against Hamburg on Saturday, but more news on that are to follow at Friday’s press conference.
Also, Erik Durm returned to team training for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in August. The fullback had some inflamed tissue removed from his knee but isn’t expected to return back to the pitch before the winter break.