Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang revealed his unhappiness at the way his Arsenal career ended, and pointed the finger of blame straight at Mikel Arteta.
The Gabon striker, 32, brought his Arsenal career to a close in surprising fashion. Aubameyang moved to LaLiga giants Barcelona on a free transfer, having exited Arsenal by “mutual agreement”.
Indeed, as per The Times, the north London club paid him almost £7m to terminate his £350,000-a-week contract.
Aubameyang only signed a new three-year contract with Arsenal in September 2020. In fact, Arteta was a key man in persuading the forward to stay.
But after falling foul of the Spaniard on numerous occasions since, he was ostracised by the club.
Indeed, his latest disciplinary breach in early-December saw him exiled from the first team. Aubameyang did not play another game for the Gunners after returning a day late from an authorised trip to France.
Aubameyang has already trained with his new teammates at Barcelona, though at his recent official unveiling, he spoke about his former club.
“The problem was only with Arteta” – Aubameyang
Aubameyang admitted he wasn’t happy with the way things ended and claimed he never fell foul of the club’s rules on purpose. Nonetheless, he took aim at Arsenal’s boss when declaring the problem was “only with Arteta”.
“They were complicated months but I think that’s how football is sometimes,” said Aubameyang (via the PA).
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“For my part I have never wanted to do something wrong and now I think that this is the past and I want to think about the present and right now that is my answer.
“I think the problem was only with Arteta and he made the decision. I can’t say much, I wasn’t happy and that’s it. It happened like that. I wasn’t very happy, I stayed very calm and that’s it.”
Auba much warmer in farewell to fans
Aubameyang had earlier written a farewell to Arsenal supporters on social media, saying his departure without a proper goodbye hurts.
“To the Arsenal fans, thank you for making London home for myself and my family for the past four years,” the forward wrote on Instagram.
“We went through ups and downs together and your support meant everything to me. Having the chance to win trophies and the honour of being the captain of this club is something I will forever keep in my heart.
“I have always been 100% focused on doing everything I can for this club. This is why leaving without a real goodbye hurts – but that is football.
“I’m sad I did not get the chance to help my team-mates in the last few weeks. But I have nothing but respect for this club. I truly wish all my guys and the fans all the best and many successful years in the future!