Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang open to Gabon return for Morocco clash

TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has confirmed that he is prepared to return for Gabon in the Panthers' upcoming World Cup qualifier against Morocco after missing the international break earlier this month.

The Central Africans are outsiders in the race for Russia, having amassed just five points from their opening four qualifiers.

While they were abject in their home defeat by the Ivory Coast in Libreville on September 2, they pulled off the best result of Jose Antonio Camacho's tenure when they won 2-1 away in Bouake in the return fixture, despite being without their talismanic frontman.

With two to play, the Panthers are two points off the Ivorians, and one behind Morocco, although they have a significantly inferior goal difference compared to their Group C rivals.

However, their prospects of making a maiden World Cup appearance have been boosted after Borussia Dortmund superstar Aubameyang, who was the subject of intense transfer speculation during the summer window, confirmed that he's set to return to the side.

"I was clear with the federation and the coach, that it wasn't the moment for me," Aubameyang told Canal+ Afrique [as per RFI] when questioned about his absence for the double-header against the Elephants. "I was in a difficult place mentally, and then there was the transfer market.

"However, I am going to return to the squad for the next match," he added. "There will be no more disagreements about it."

Aubameyang, the reigning Bundesliga top scorer, has been in excellent form so far this season, netting eight in six matches in the German top flight, and found the net against Real Madrid in the Champions League earlier this week.

Denis Bouanga is another option for Camacho after continuing his fine Africa Cup of Nations form for the Panthers against the Ivorians, while Mario Lemina netted a sublime goal as Gabon handed their more illustrious foe a shock defeat.