Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: FC Barcelona reached a deal to sign Arsenal talisman.
Negotiations between FC Barcelona and Arsenal had earlier fallen apart, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has had disciplinary issues with Noth London club, which resulted in stripping him of the club captaincy.
FC Barcelona has reached a permanent deal to sign Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on a free transfer.
FC Barcelona reached agreement to sign Aubameyang, Arsenal was willing to let the Gabon international, who earns a whooping £350,000 a week, depart after he was stripped of his captaincy in December due to an unexplained disciplinary issue.
With Aubameyang’s departure, Arsenal is expected to save roughly £25 million in salary. However, with both Eddie Nketiah and Alex Lacazette’s contracts expiring in the summer, Mikel Arteta’s squad will conclude the season with just two recognized strikers.
Aubameyang has not appeared for the club since December 6, and he was left out of their warm-weather training camp in Dubai. The 32-year-move old’s to Spain had been put on hold earlier on Deadline Day when negotiations over the financial aspect of the agreement fell through.
However, it’s believed that Aubameyang, who flew out to Barcelona on Monday morning, accepted a wage cut to make the move possible.
Because of the drastic reduction in performance, it’s perhaps worth reminding folks that Aubameyang was a world-class striker for the majority of his tenure at Arsenal.
Indeed, no player has scored more Premier League goals for the club between his debut in February 2018 and his double against Everton in February 2020. In that time frame, he scored 49 goals, the same as Mohamed Salah and a dozen more than Harry Kane.
After that, he scored twice in Arsenal’s FA Cup final victory over Chelsea in the summer of 2020, which was a memorable highlight. But there was a sense of decline almost as soon as his new deal was signed that September as if he was a player whose greatest days were behind him.
The Gabonese who scored a hat-trick in Arsenal 6-0 thumping of West Brom in the Carabao Cup second round tie look like the lethal striker he was known for.
Without the captaincy, leadership has had to come from somewhere else far too often. Under Mikel Arteta, it is the young players, not the best-paid player, who are propelling Arsenal forward. The club has dealt with such situations before, most recently with Mesut Ozil. It’s not going to last.
At 32, there’s still a chance that Aubameyang can rediscover his best form, spurred on by new surroundings and the challenge of restoring FC Barcelona to their former glory. Any regret at Arsenal will be overshadowed by the realization that it is time for the club to move on.