Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s career at Arsenal has finally come to an end, after he sealed a free transfer to Barcelona, but the former captain had the final say in his spat with Mikel Arteta.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s last contract with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium cost the Gunners £1.2million per goal.
The former captain has sealed a free transfer to Barcelona in the final stages of January’s transfer deadline.
His move to the Catalans ends the venomous latest chapter at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta had dumped him from the squad and removed him as captain, after he reportedly returned late from an authorized trip abroad.
However, the former Borussia Dortmund star may have had the last laugh, as his huge £350,000-a-week wage meant the Gunners paid him around £1.2million per goal in his final season and a half.
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The Gabon striker has put pen to paper on a new three-year contract at the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2020.
This new contract, which was highly celebrated by Arsenal’s fanbase at the time, would have been worth £350,000 a week once loyalty payments and other bonuses were included.
Back then, Aubameyang deserved such a furious salary package as he scored 29 goals in all competitions during the 2019-20 season.
Sadly, his form seemed to dissipate with the stroke of a pen, as the 32-year-old’s performances seemed to flag in subsequent seasons.
He could register just 15 goals in 39 appearances in all competitions, in a season that saw Arsenal fail to qualify for European competition for the first time in 25 years.
Aubameyang had started this season relatively well, scoring four Premier League goals in the Gunners’ first eight games of the season.
Sadly, he began to stray from the starting claim after going six league games without a goal for the north Londoners.
Signs that Aubameyang’s relationship with Arteta was becoming strained became increasingly evident during the Gunners’ 2-1 away loss to Everton at the end of the season.
Despite his side looking for a winner and even ending up chasing an equaliser, Arteta snubbed Aubameyang and opted to deploy youngster Eddie Nketiah from the bench instead.
As the Spaniard finally turned to his then-captain in the final five minutes of the game, the initial snob had already suggested that the cracks in their relationship had surfaced.
And it was irreparable after the 32-year-old returned late from a trip abroad, leaving Arteta and his staff furious.
After jettisoning him from Arsenal’s wins over Southampton and West Ham, Arteta decided to drop the captain from Aubameyang – he hasn’t been seen in an Arsenal squad on matchday since.
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But his move to Barcelona ends his four-year stay at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal are believed to have terminated his £25m-a-year contract, to allow him to join Xavi’s side permanently.
At one point it looked like the Gabonese was going to stay at the club, when a loan deal between the sides appeared to crumble on his huge £350,000-a-week wage.
But the termination of his contract allowed the La Liga giants to negotiate directly with him, and it is believed he had to accept a substantial pay cut for the deal to go through.