After missing out on the AFCON championship owing to Covid complications, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned to London but Arsenal had already made up their minds to get rid of the player.
The Gabonese striker who earned £350,000 weekly with Arsenal has lowered his wages to join Barcelona in the January transfer window. The Gunners were willing to let their former captain go on a free due to the saving they would make in wages.
Though the ending was disappointing, Aubameyang will surely be remembered as one of the best players to put on the Arsenal shirt in during the past decade. He scored 92 goals in 163 appearances during his time at North London.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang joins Barcelona, done deal and here we go. Contract agreed and now set to be signed by Aubameyang in Barcelona headquarters. Medical successfully completed. ?? #FCB
Arsenal will save his huge salary as they wanted. Deal in place. #AFC #DeadlineDay pic.twitter.com/IZEDCj2Zky
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 31, 2022
The Gabonese striker’s destination was no surprise, as Barcelona were red-hot 1/9 favourites to land Aubameyang. That’s way lower than any NFL odds available for the Super Bowl – that will take place in Inglewood in less than two weeks.
Aubameyang arrived in Spain on Monday morning. The 32-year-old former Gunners captain was pictured training with his new teammates ahead of the official announcement of his Barca transfer.
Arsenal were probably holding back on announcing the striker’s departure, as a gesture of respect to Barcelona, whose president, Joan Laporta, said on Tuesday that the official unveiling may come later in the week.
In the meantime, Aubameyang’s father has taken to Instagram to all but confirm the move. He said: “I thank Almighty God. How beautiful my son. How not to be proud. We always go ahead, my son.”
Allowing Aubameyang to leave without signing a replacement is a huge gamble for Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta as Arsenal have only two strikers left, Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, who are both out of contract at the end of the season.