Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will never play again for Arsenal but one thing is clear – they were warned he had an issue with timekeeping before they signed him.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signed for Arsenal for £57.83m on 31 January 2018.
Two weeks before that, they were given a very clear warning by a German pundit about the player who now finds himself excluded from the first-team squad and training on his own.
German football pundit Marc Behrenbeck said, “Dortmund knows that there won’t be a future for Aubameyang at Dortmund.
“He was unpunctual again. Afterwards, he said he didn’t know about the team meeting but everybody knows about it.
“It is a problem that he has been unpunctual since day one. He had three coaches in the last few years, Peter Stoger, Peter Bosz and Thomas Tuchel and every coach had to suspend him.
“It says a lot about his philosophy and character.”
While it is being touted that Arsenal took action when Aubameyang returned late from visiting him mum, it has become clear that this was far from the first incident.
We all know about what happened last season ahead of the Spurs game and, from Arsenal’s statement when he was suspended, we can assume there have been more incidents that we haven’t heard about.
Until signing his mega-contract, no-one could say that Aubameyang was a poor acquisition for Arsenal.
Now 32, he scored 92 goals, with 21 assists, in 163 games.
That’s a goal or assist every 114 minutes.
At Dortmund, his rate was one every 93 minutes, but, then again, they have been a better team than Arsenal over recent years.
Speaking after he signed for Barcelona, Aubameyang was sure to highlight that his problem was with Mikel Arteta alone.
“I think it [the problem] was only with him and then he took this decision,” Aubameyang said.
“He wasn’t happy and that’s it. I was calm.”
Perhaps the captaincy was a step too far and they should have just let him play without responsibility, but regardless of the ‘whys’, it’s sad that it has come to this.
Then again, Arsenal can console themselves in knowing this is just who Auba is and there’s not much you can do about that.