The Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s life around football has been on a roller coaster since December when he was expelled from the Arsenal squad and then stripping him of the captaincy by the management due to some unspecified disciplinary issues.
After these issues with Arsenal, it was not the end. He went with Gabon to play the Africa Cup of Nations. But Aubameyang was diagnosed with heart lesions after recovering from Covid-19 at the Africa Cup of Nations but went on to say he was absolutely fine and completely healthy.
After the controversies, it was almost confirmed that the Gabonese striker would leave Arsenal. The Saudi club Al-Nassr offered Aubameyang an exit route, but the player rejected that.
On the transfer deadline day, FC Barcelona came on with an offer for Aubameyang and analysing the current situation, it was sure that he would accept the deal that the Catalan club offers.
After Barcelona offered him a contract, a new saga started. The veteran centre-forward’s move to the Nou Camp appeared to be off earlier on deadline day as he arrived in Catalonia before the two clubs had managed to strike an agreement. There was some gap between the two clubs and the player regarding the salary issues.
But after that, Barca president Joan Laporta admitted, “it seems that we will pull it off”. It was a relief for the fans after the deal took a U-turn. The 32-year-old striker will sign for the Catalan club.
Aubameyang started his professional career with AC Milan. But did not appear for the senior team. Then he left for Saint-Etienne after some loan spells. There, he won a Coupe de la Ligue title and joined Borussia Dortmund in 2013. Aubameyang finished as the league’s top goalscorer in the 2016–17 season in Germany. He also ranks as the club’s sixth-highest all-time goalscorer.
In 2018, he made a sensational move to England after Arsenal signed him for 60 million euros, making him the most expensive Gabonese player of all time. With Arsenal, he won an FA Cup and finished as the league’s joint-top goalscorer in the 2018–19 season.
He is one of the best players that Gabon has ever seen. He is Gabon’s all-time top goalscorer. He made his senior debut for Gabon in 2009, aged 19, and appeared in four Africa Cup of Nations tournaments. In 2016, Aubameyang was named African Footballer of the Year, the first Gabonese and second European-born player to win the award.
Aubamenyang will be an excellent short term option for Barcelona as they will be looking to compete for the Europa League and finish in the top four in La Liga.
But it will be interesting to see how he will react when he face Real Madrid. Aubameyang has previously made it no secret of his desire to play for the La Liga side’s rivals Real Madrid, claiming that he promised his grandfather he would one day play for Los Blancos. Let’s wait and watch!