Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took to social media last night to bid farewell to the Arsenal fans following confirmation that his contract at the club had been terminated by mutual consent.
While Barcelona are yet to confirm his signing, the player was pictured training with his new teammates yesterday ahead of this weekend’s match with Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou.
Having been a firm fan favourite during his four years at the club, it’s understandable his outgoing statement is tinged with regret.
As has been well-documented, the striker spent nearly two months in exile before departing and his last appearance came as a substitute in the 2-1 defeat to Everton on 6 December.
Taking to Instagram, Auba wrote:
“Thank you for making London home for myself and my family for the past four years. We went through ups and downs together and your support meant everything to me.
“Having the chance to win trophies and the honour of being the captain of this club is something I will forever keep in my heart.
“I have always been 100% focused and committed on doing everything I can for this club which is why leaving without a real goodbye hurts – but that is football.
“I’m sad I did not get the chance to help my teammates in the last few weeks, but I have nothing but respect for this club and truly wish all my guys and the fans all the best and many successful years in the future!
On a separate note, there are conflicting reports in the British press about the financial terms of the player’s departure. The Times claims the player walked away from Arsenal with a £7 million lump sum payout while the Guardian says Auba “waived his claim” to a payoff.
Either way, Arsenal still stand to make significant savings on the £350,000-a-week salary he was due to earn through until the summer of 2023.
Whether we’re able to replace Auba’s goals remains to be seen.