Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund as the German side secured a loan move for Michy Batshuayi from Chelsea who signed Olivier Giroud from Emirates Stadium following a complicated series of transfer dealings involving three clubs yesterday.
Aubameyang, 28, signed a contract with Arsenal until 2021, becoming Arsenal’s second big-name signing of the January transfer window after Henrikh Mkhitaryan joined from Manchester United.
The signing, worth £56 million (Dh291.5m), will boost Arsene Wenger’s forward options after the departure of Alexis Sanchez to United in a swap deal with Mkhitaryan but raises questions about Alexandre Lacazette’s future in the starting line-up.
“Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has joined us from Borussia Dortmund on a long-term contract for a club-record fee,” Arsenal said in a statement on their website, describing him as one of the world’s most highly rated strikers.
Aubameyang compared himself to club hero Thierry Henry, telling Arsenal Player he was attracted by the club’s “big history”.
He said that Henry, who scored 174 goals in 254 appearances for Arsenal in his first spell there and won the Premier League title in 2002 and 2004 – when the “Invincibles” won the league unbeaten all season – was the example to follow on his Arsenal adventure.
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“I think the club has such a big history and great players like Thierry Henry,” Aubameyang said. “He’s an example for us strikers.
“I’m a fast player and I score goals too, like Henry a little bit,” Aubameyang added. “But as I said, I have to work a lot more.”
The Gabon international will be reunited at the Emirates Stadium with former Dortmund teammate Mkhitaryan – a tweet on Arsenal’s Twitter account pictured the two players together with the message “Friends reunited”.
Aubameyang posted a message on Instagram apologising for the circumstances surrounding his departure from Germany but describing himself as “crazy”.
“Perhaps it was not the best way for me to have decided, but everyone knows that Auba is crazy,” Aubameyang said.
“And yes, I am crazy lad, hahahaha. I have made mistakes, but I never had any bad intentions. I will never forget it these four and a half years at Borussia Dortmund.”