Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s Arsenal journey is over but, while it looked like the forward just arrived in Spain, uninvited, on deadline day, it is a move that was started back in December.
Writing at the start of December, Diariogol, who aren’t the most reliable of outlets, but who sometimes do get a story, claimed that Mikel Arteta’s patience das run out with Auba and that Arsenal wanted to shift him in January, when he was expected be at AFCON.
They wrote, via Google translate, “The Spanish coach considers that the 32-year-old striker does not contribute anything on the field of play, and that he is a very toxic person for the locker room.
“For this reason, he has asked the ‘Gunners’ board to find a way out for him, and try to get some money from his sale.
“‘Auba’ is also packing his bags, just four years after his arrival in London.
“They promised him that they would win titles, and that they would play the Champions League, but it has never been like that.
“He feels cheated, and thinks that they have not known how to value him either. He does not want to retire at the Emirates Stadium, and hopes to go to another team where he can win more trophies, and increase his record.
“And one of the clubs that Aubameyang has been offered to is Barça. He is aware that they are looking for a forward for the next winter market, and his agent has not hesitated to call Joan Laporta.”
Barcelona, the Spanish publication wrote, would be interested if the price was low enough.
In the end, Barcelona will sign Aubameyang for the lowest transfer fee of them all – nothing, despite the forward still having a market value over £20m and 18 months left on his Arsenal contract.
There is, of course, a lot of talk about the amount of wages Arsenal have shifted off their books, but at some point we have to start asking why we let the desires of players and other clubs override our own sense.
Yes, I understand wanting to get Aubameyang out of the club if you feel having him around is disruptive, but Arsenal were also willing to veto any move at all to Barcelona if they had to continue paying some of Aubayemang’s wages.
That makes no sense.
In the end, we will all move on, but if Arsenal fail in their goal of getting top four while Auba is banging them in for Barca, you can expect the whole thing to raise its ugly head again sooner rather than later.
Although the move is not yet official, Aubameyang is already training with his new teammates: