Thomas Tuchel believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Robert Lewandowski have their best years ahead of them as the Bundesliga’s two premier strikers prepare to go head-to-head when Bayern Munich host Borussia Dortmund.
Aubameyang scored the only goal when Dortmund won the reverse fixture 1-0 at Signal Iduna Park in November and has 25 goals in as many Bundesliga games this term.
That was Bayern’ first defeat of the season domestically and the league leaders’ second reverse came in midweek by the same margin at Hoffenheim.
Poland star Lewandowski drew a rare blank in both those games, but he has 36 across 39 games in all competitions this term and the one-time Dortmund favourite has now passed the 100 mark for their bitter rivals.
Lewandowski, 28, is one shy of the 27-year-old Aubameyang in terms of league goals and the pair have a staggering 68 between them overall this term.
Asked whether either man had reached their peak, Tuchel told a pre-match news conference: “This is difficult to imagine. We hope that Robert has reached his zenith or exceeded and Aubameyang still has mega potential for us.
“But seriously, they both play at an extremely high level, but they are both very different types of strikers.
“From our point of view, there is certainly reason to believe that Aubameyang is not yet at the end of his development and that he has the opportunity to evolve constantly, regardless of his age, like any other player.
“He may also, as a central striker, develop a certain calmness, which simply comes with the player’s experience. Aubameyang is scoring incredibly constantly for us.
“Robert Lewandowski scores incredibly well from many different situations. I think that both are just too ambitious to achieved their zenith.
“Lewandowski has now begun to score from direct free-kicks with regularity, which is scary. That is why I think he is someone who is very good example of a player who is wanting to develop constantly, to constantly improve every detail, in scoring technique, to be able to shoot with both feet, now even in set-piece situations.
“And therefore I fear that his zenith is not reached and I am myself very sure that Aubameyang still has the potential to become even better, to become even more effective, to become a better combination player. I do not see the end of his development.
— OptaFranz (@OptaFranz) April 4, 2017
Lewandowski continues to flourish in a Bayern side Tuchel observes to be playing with greater freedom under Carlo Ancelotti than was the case during Pep Guardiola’s three seasons in Bavaria.
“Ancelotti is an extraordinary coach and extraordinary personality with an extraordinary career,” he added.
“Bayern are no longer as dogmatic as they were under Guardiola. They play with more freedom and enjoy a lot of trust.”
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