Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says he has “extra motivation” to play against Tottenham in the Champions League on Wednesday after being snubbed by the Premier League side in 2012.
Aubameyang joined Dortmund from St Etienne in 2013, but could have signed for Tottenham under Andre Villas-Boas a year earlier, only for the North London club to opt against a move.
“I was at Tottenham back then, had a tour of the stadium and the training ground. We held talks,” Aubameyang told Bild. “But after that nobody contacted me again. That’s definitely extra motivation for me on Wednesday.”
Aubameyang has scored 126 goals and set up a further 33 in 194 appearances since joining Dortmund, with three of those goals coming in the Europa League tie with Tottenham in March 2016.
Aubameyang will this time face Tottenham in the Champions League and he wants to inflict more damage on the club.
“I want to score again,” he said.
Lining up opposite Aubameyang will be Tottenham striker Harry Kane, who is a big fan of the Gabon international.
“He’s a fantastic striker,” Kane told a news conference. “He scores goals, makes good runs in behind. I’d say we’re different strikers, we’re not too similar, but he’s obviously had a fantastic last four or five years and hopefully I can maintain the goal-scoring record and I’m sure he will as well.”
While Aubameyang is set to start his 27th Champions League match for Dortmund, coach Peter Bosz will need to make changes to his defence once again.
Centre-back Marc Bartra and left-back Marcel Schmelzer have both been ruled out with injuries, with Omer Toprak set to cover for the Spain international.
New signing Jeremy Toljan could replace Schmelzer, although Bosz said he has been “satisfied” with youngster Dan-Axel Zagadou’s performances as a makeshift left-back.
“We are here to win the match tomorrow. That is our mentality going into every game,” Bosz told his prematch news conference. “It will be an interesting game. I want us to be brave, play football, and attempt to play our kind of game here at Wembley too.”
ESPN FC’s Tottenham correspondent Dan Kilpatrick contributed to this report.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.