DORTMUND, Germany -- Maybe it is wise to start this article with a disclaimer: Yes, it has only been three games that Michy Batshuayi has played for Dortmund, and yes, hot streaks are not infinite.
However, after just 270 minutes playing for the Westphalians, the argument can be made that he is currently a better fit for the German outfit than Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who permanently transferred to Arsenal on the same day.
Within three games, the 24-year-old Belgian had a hand in all of Dortmund's eight goals since joining on loan from Chelsea on the last day of January, scoring five goals, one assist and two pre-assists.
The rate of 1.66 goals per game is probably not sustainable until the end of the season for Batshuayi but it is highly impressive how he has hit the ground running, bagging his first brace two weeks ago in a 3-2 win against Cologne before even being on first-name basis with all of his teammates after one and a half training sessions.
In general, it is better for the Black and Yellows to have a young, hungry striker that has to prove himself in order to make Belgium's World Cup squad instead of a mopey 28-year-old that would rather be gone sooner than later, as would have been the case with Aubameyang had he stayed in Germany for the rest of the season.
"You can see that he likes to work for us, that he's aspiring to reach our goals," BVB coach Peter Stoger told his news conference after the centre-forward scored twice, including a last-minute winner, in BVB's 3-2 win over Atalanta in the Euro League on Thursday, adding: "We know that he also has his personally aims but that is fitting together well at the moment. I'm very happy that he is here. I'm not surprised that he has such a good scoring record here."
And for Batshuayi, the situation has instantly changed for the better as well, as he is now the centre of attention instead of a third option behind Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard in London.
"Everything is perfect here. I want to score in every match in front of the Yellow Wall. As a young player, you need a lot of playing time to develop. Here I feel the trust, which is why I can play with confidence," he told Belgium Online Portal Sporza on Thursday, while not remembering his time at Chelsea too fondly: "To sit on the bench, then scoring a goal only to sit on the bench again is very difficult for an attacker."
Thus far, it has been a win-win situation for Batshuayi and Dortmund because the striker does not only score goals but provides a physical outlet upfront. The match against Atalanta was the perfect highlight reel to showcase the multifaceted strengths of the 24-year-old. He instigated BVB's opener by muscling the ball off Remo Freuler close to his own penalty box, bought teammates time to run into channels by holding up the ball for several seconds in the opponent's box, scored a thumping strike from distance and a last-gasp winner with several defenders around him in the box.
Peter Stoger described Batshuayi's traits at Friday's news conference ahead of BVB's match away to Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday, while not forgetting that Aubameyang had been a key asset during his time in Dortmund: "He's dangerous in the box, works hard in defence. He's a different player than [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang. It's difficult to play against him. He's got a good goal rate, but Auba had that too. I've not forgotten how good he was, he'd also have found his place on the team."
Yet, it cannot be denied that the young Belgian has added another dimension to BVB's attacking play with his physical presence. He keeps plays alive that would have died with Aubameyang upfront by shielding the ball off opponents and creates plays in areas of the field in which the Gabonese international often was nullified.
Dortmund's 2-2 home draw against Freiburg would serve as the perfect example for a match in which Aubameyang was completely ineffective as the visitors narrowed the gaps around their own penalty area. The 28-year-old registered 19 touches without having any impact.
Under Stoger, the Ruhr Side are lacking the inspiration to create chances by themselves once the opposing team is back in its defensive shape. In consequence, the emphasis is much more on transitional attacks and forcing turnovers. In all three matches for Dortmund, Batshuayi has managed to keep counterattacks alive by keeping the ball just long enough for his teammates to get into position.
The greatest profiteer of that new element in attack is Andre Schurrle, as he can exploit the gaps that his centre-forward opens up. The 27-year-old has scored twice in the last three games with his body language now completely changed for the positive.
In Batshuayi, Dortmund may have found just the striker they needed to help them in a difficult season. Arguably, he is the type of player that Peter Bosz craved during his short-lived tenure at the Westfalenstadion, as he was also relying on a forward that had a knack for holding up the ball with his back to goal at Ajax.
The young Belgian is on his way to becoming an instant fan favourite. Not least because of his witty social media appearance. After scoring against Atalanta, he tweeted out "Free flocks every game. You're welcome," as the club offers a flock of their goalscorers at no expense.
Though, even if Batshuayi and Borussia Dortmund are the perfect match, due to the lack of a buy option the relationship may go down a similar part as the romance of young exchange students. While it feels perfect in the moment, it may never come to last beyond this summer.