Borussia Dortmund attacker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been voted best outfield player of the Bundesliga season so far by his fellow players.
Aubameyang has scored 20 goals in 21 competitive games for Dortmund, and 33.6 percent of the 238 Bundesliga players voting in kicker’s poll rated him the best outfield performer during the “Hinrunde,” which refers to the first half of the season.
His former Dortmund colleague Henrikh Mkhitaryan, now with Manchester United, had been voted the best player in the poll for the second half of last season, which is known as the “Ruckrunde.”
Dortmund have struggled to maintain the form that saw them finish runners-up last season, with Thomas Tuchel’s side currently sixth, but Aubameyang, who was linked with a €150 million offer from China last week, scored 16 goals in only 15 Bundesliga appearances. The 27-year-old added a further four in the Champions League, where Dortmund finished ahead of reigning champions Real Madrid in their group.
RB Leipzig midfielder Emil Forsberg — who was also named most improved player — finished second with 23.1 percent of the vote, with his club having exceeded all expectations in their first ever Bundesliga campaign, trailing leaders Bayern Munich by only three points.
Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski received the third most votes for best player with 14.3 percent.
Lewandowski’s teammate Manuel Neuer was once again named best goalkeeper, with the Germany international having finished top of the poll on all but three occasions since 2010.
Julian Draxler, who left Wolfsburg for Paris Saint-Germain this month, was named the most disappointing player by his Bundesliga colleagues, with an overwhelming 51.3 percent of the vote.
Bayern forward Thomas Muller finished second with 5.5 percent, having registered just one Bundesliga goal under Carlo Ancelotti so far as he failed to shake off his disappointing Euro 2016 form during the Hinrunde.
The players voted Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola as the best coach in the world at present, with the former Bayern man taking 29.4 percent of the vote.
Ex-Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp, now at Liverpool, finished second with 19.7 percent. Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone, Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane and Chelsea’s Antonio Conte completed the top five, with sixth-placed Bayern boss Carlo Ancelotti the highest-rated current Bundesliga coach.
Last year, Bundesliga players had been asked whether they would move to the Premier League if they were offered a significantly better salary, with 45.9 percent saying they would, 36.1 percent saying it was possible and only 15.6 percent saying they would not.
This year, though, the players were simply asked whether they would rather play in a different league, with three-quarters saying they would not.