Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s former agent Yvan Le Mee has hit out at AC Milan, claiming that his former client was “mistreated” during his youth years with the club.
After leaving Milan’s Youth Sector failing to find playing time, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was loaned out several times to clubs Dijon, Lille and Monaco. After tallying 12 goals in eighty-four matches through those three years, the rossoneri decided to sell the Gabon international to St.Etienne for a minuscule 1.8 million euro. He eventually took Ligue 1 by storm scoring 41 times in 97 matches across all competitions, sticking it to his former club in Italy.
After two breakout campaigns with St.Etienne, German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund purchased the speedster for 13 million euro in 2013, bolstering an already lethal attacking unit which included Marco Reus and Robert Lewandowski. Since settling down in Germany with the 12-13 UEFA Champions League runner-up, Aubameyang has become one of the more prolific threats in Europe, having recorded a stellar 76 goals in 134 games, according to transfermarkt.
The Borussia Dortumund striker’s former agent had this to say about Aubameyang’s time at Milan, via goal.com:
“Aubameyang was scoring some amazing goals for Milan, but we realized that he was not playing much with Milan’s Primavera [youth] team because their coach favored Italian players over him and kept Auba out of the team” Le Mee told Le 10 Sport.
Le Mee on his former client’s eventual departure from the seven-time Champions League winners:
“At that time, we got in touch with Dijon over a transfer. After pushing really hard for six months, Milan eventually accepted a loan offer from Dijon.”
While it is easy to blame Milan for selling Aubameyang now, through his three years at the senior level, Milan had a solid core of forwards. Those attackers included Andriy Shevchenko, Filippo Inzaghi, Alberto Gilardino, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato, and a young Alberto Paloschi. It seemed very unlikely at that time for the reigning African Player of the Year winner to receive any substantial playing time at a team that was battling for the Champions League and Serie A title on a yearly basis.
As for his time at the youth level, it is interesting to note how Le Mee claims Italian players were favored over him. This has been a sensitive issue in Italy in recent years as many wonder why foreign players are given more playing time than young promising home grown talent. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the youth and scouting staff to identify what type of player Aubameyang could develop into. The fact they once held a superstar player in their system is what makes it difficult for fans to wrap their head around.