Arsenal have confirmed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has left the club by mutual consent allowing him to sign for Barcelona as a free agent on a six-month contract with the option of a year-long extension.
The striker completes his move to the Nou Camp 57 days since his last appearance for the Gunners.
At that point, the 32-year-old was considered a vital component of Mikel Arteta’s first team but following a disciplinary breach, he was stripped of the captaincy and forced to train alone at London Colney.
He was released to play for Gabon at the African Cup of Nations in late December but subsequently tested positive for Covid and completed a frustrating few weeks by being returned early to London for a medical assessment.
Sensing an opportunity to relieve him from his misery, several clubs made contact with the player during this period, including two sides in Saudi Arabia and Juventus.
Despite failing to find a replacement, Mikel Arteta seems happy enough to sanction Aubameyang’s exit which underlines just how much his relationship with the striker has deteriorated.
The Spaniard had gone out of his way to persuade Aubameyang to stay in September 2020, handing the player a three-year contract worth £55 million following his FA Cup-winning exploits.
Signed by Arsene Wenger from Borussia Dortmund for £56 million four years ago yesterday, Aubameyang scored 92 goals in 163 appearances for the club.
We wish him the best of luck at the Nou Camp. He’s got a Europa League double-header with Napoli on the horizon and will be tasked with helping Xavi’s side close the 15-point gap on league leaders Real Madrid.