Express & Star

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: How West Brom once looked at one of Europe's best strikers

West Brom once looked at the idea of signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang before he went on to become one of the best strikers in Europe.

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In the past, individuals at the club have revealed how Albion had gone in pursuit of players who went on to play at the highest level.

On a previous episode of the E&S' Baggies Broadcast, former technical director Dan Ashworth discussed how the club missed out on Robert Lewandowski and Nemanja Matic.

It has now also been revealed the club had looked at former Chelsea and Barcelona striker Aubameyang, after the striker impressed Albion's former head of UK recruitment, Stuart White, during a trip to France.

Speaking on the Albion Analysis podcast, White explained: "Aubameyang was the one from my perspective who we missed out on.

"I was watching a centre forward in the French Ligue 2, Sebastian Rivas, who was ripping it up.

"The next day I took in a game on my way home and it was Auxerre who were playing St Etienne.

"St Etienne had Dimitri Payet and Blaise Matuidi, and up front it was Emmanuel Riviere and Aubameyang. He was on loan from Milan and he scored.

"I went to Villa v Newcastle the next day and Roy was there and I asked him if he'd heard of him, he said no, but our scout from France was there and he knew a bit more.

"An agent contacted me and then the Monday after I went in to see Dan (Ashworth).

"The deal was affordable, a loan with an option to buy, but I had only seen him once and wasn't going to stick my hat on him.

"To be fair to Dan he got on a plane within a few weeks and went to watch him against Metz and he scored.

"We had a conversation and Dan said he was not 100 per cent.

"He said maybe if we were in the Championship, but in the Premier League he was not convinced, and it died of death.

"On this one, we didn't do enough work to be 100 per cent convinced, but the deal from a West Brom budget point of view was affordable.

"I'll qualify it by saying we didn't go or push for him because we had not liked him consistently enough, and I had only seen one good performance."

White, who went on to work for Burnley and is now chief scout at Hull City, spent a number of years working for Albion.

He talks in depth during the episode about other targets and transfers he took the most satisfaction out of.

And he also talks about the ones that really got away.

He added: "One that was very frustrating was Romelu (Lukaku) not coming back.

"It was deadline day, we thought it was done, which wasn't the case.

"He had requested footage to watch prior to his first game for us, we thought he was done.

"We were skipping into the canteen thinking he was coming back for another year and what a difference he would have made to us."