Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says Borussia Dortmund’s players are keen to show Jurgen Klopp they are “working very hard”.
Aubameyang scored 41 goals in two seasons under Klopp at Dortmund but has been in even better form this season, notching 36 goals and 11 assists from only 41 appearances.
After a disappointing final season under Klopp which saw Dortmund finish only seventh in the Bundesliga, Aubameyang is excited to welcome back his former boss to the Westfalenstadion on Thursday for the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie against his new club, Liverpool.
“It is great for us to have this game,” said Aubameyang. “We can show Klopp we have worked hard to get back to where we were and that we have progression. It will be a very difficult game, for sure, but we want to show Klopp that we are working very hard.
“I owe him a lot. It was great to work with him and he taught me many things. If I play like this as a striker now, it is because of him.”
Aubameyang scored his 23rd Bundesliga goal of the season in a 3-2 win over Werder Bremen on Saturday, only one less than Robert Lewandowski managed in his best season at Dortmund in 2012-13. Aubameyang is also only two goals behind the Bayern Munich striker in this season’s goalscoring charts.
“It is a big target,” said Aubameyang. “Of course it is very hard to follow Lewandowski. But it is a very good target to have and I am really happy to have scored again. I know that this competition has not finished. The battle will be on until the end and we will see who will be the champion!”
On Saturday’s win, Aubameyang added: “It was very important for us. It was a difficult game, especially in the second half; they scored two times and I think that was a bit of a surprise.
“But, after that, we did very well. We won this game, which we needed to do, and it is really great that we are back in the Champions League.”