Gabon captain and FC Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has spoken up following his messy exit from English Premier League side Arsenal, blaming manager Mikel Arteta for his troubles at the club.
Aubameyang was Arsenal’s captain since 2020 before he was stripped off the position by manager Arteta, with the Spaniard citing disciplinary issues as the reason behind his removal as captain.
Aubameyang was frozen out of the squad after he returned late from a trip to visit his ailing mother in December, and has neither trained nor played for Arsenal since then. The striker was left behind in London as Arsenal headed to Dubai for warm weather training.
On transfer deadline day, Aubameyang reportedly travelled to Barcelona hours before a deal was even struck. The striker joined the Catalan giants on a three-and-a-half-year deal for free, with his release clause set at €100 million. In addition to losing him for free, Arsenal have agreed to pay the Gabonese international a total sum of €8 million to cover part of his salary in Barcelona.
Aubameyang captained Arsenal to FA Cup and FA Community Shield glory in 2020, and managed a respectable 92 goals and 21 assists in 163 appearances in four years at the club. Aubameyang remains the fastest player in Arsenal FC history to reach 50 goals for the club, doing so in only 79 games and breaking the record previously held by club legend Thierry Henry. He also won the Premier League’s Golden Boot alongside Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah in 2019.
According to the striker, manager Mikel Arteta was the biggest source of his problems at the club. He made this revelation when he was officially unveiled as a Barcelona player.
“It was just him and he made that decision. He wasn’t happy, I can’t tell you more. He wasn’t very happy, I was very calm,” Aubameyang stated.
“My last few months at Arsenal were complicated, that’s football sometimes. For my part, I never wanted to do anything wrong.
“My problem was only with Arteta. I can’t say much more, I wasn’t happy.”
He last turned out for the North London club in a 2-1 defeat to Everton in the English Premier League on December 6th 2021.