A stunning loan move
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang has completed a loan move from Arsenal to Barcelona in the January transfer window after falling out with the London club and Mikel Arteta. He will join Barca on a loan deal until the end of the season. Xavi will finally get a striker for his low-scoring side.
The 32-year-old Gabonese striker was stripped of his captaincy last month by Mikel Arteta, and the Spaniard has sanctioned his move. Both clubs struggled to find a solution to Auba’s huge £350,000 weekly salary, but a solution has been reached. Despite newfound money to sign Ferran Torres, Dani Alves, and Adama Traore, Barca remain cash-strapped, and the news is that Auba will play for the Catalan club for next to nothing. There were reports of Ousmane Dembele leaving this winter to free up some cash, but there is no deal with PSG.
Aubameyang has been one of the best strikers around over the past years, but disciplinary cases have popped up here and there. He clashed with Thomas Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund and has had a few fines and suspensions at Arsenal.
The latest involves the now former Arsenal captain returning a day late from a visit to his mother. He was excluded from games, fined, and stripped of his captaincy. A bit too much? Maybe. However, the player has been in decline over the past two seasons and it might be a smart idea to move him on now. This season, he has just four league goals in 14 appearances for the gunners. A League Cup hat-trick against West Brom is the only thing making this season’s numbers decent. Last season, he scored only 10 league goals in 29 appearances. The season before that, he bagged 22 and another 22 the season before that. In 163 appearances for Arsenal, he has scored 92 goals and assisted 21 more.
Where will he fit
Aubameyang can play off the left-wing and through the middle, just like Memphis Depay. It will be interesting to see where he will play. Despite Luuk De Jong’s hot form, Xavi will be looking for more mobility inside the box. Ferran Torres is brilliant when moving inside the box and Aubameyang is one of the best in the world. Maybe the extra firepower can push them into the UEFA Champions League places. Six teams in La Liga have scored more goals than Barca and if they want to re-establish themselves, they need more goals.