Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Aubameyang tells fans ‘I’m here!’ after signing for Barca



Aubameyang tells fans ‘I’m here!’ after signing for Barca

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring the team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match against Tottenham Hotspur on September 26, 2021. AFP

Aubameyang tells fans ‘I’m here!’ after signing for Barca

Barcelona declared on Wednesday “It’s Auba time!” as they signed Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a free agent.

The club’s tweet also included a video of Aubameyang declaring “I’m here Barcelona fans! Forca Barca!”

“The player will sign a contract until June 30, 2025,” said the club on their web site, adding that the deal for the 32-year-old included a €100 million ($113 million) buyout clause.

“I’m very happy, very happy to be here and I’m already looking forward to being on the pitch,” Aubameyang told the Barca website.

Barcelona are “one of the biggest clubs in the world and that is why I have signed for Barca’”

His previous club, Arsenal, on Tuesday released Aubameyang. That cleared the way for the striker, who was already in Spain, to sign for Barcelona as a free agent outside the transfer window which closed on Monday night.

“It was a very long day, but in the end I’m here, I’m looking forward to it and I’m very happy,” he said.

French-born Aubameyang is, like his father Pierre, a Gabon international. His mother was born near Madrid before moving to France as a child.

“I’m very proud especially because my family is Spanish by my mother’s side,” said Aubameyang.

The move gives him the set of the five major European leagues, although he never played in Serie A for AC Milan, where he began his career and starred for the youth team.

“I have experience, I played in Germany, in France, in England, so I’m here to help and give the maximum for the team,” said Aubameyang.

Aubameyang is believed to have taken a significant cut on his Arsenal wage, which started at around €300,000 ($337,000) a week.

Disciplinary breach

It was a spectacular way for Barca to end an active transfer window.

They have been busy despite their enormous debts and their inability to either sign talented French World Cup winning striker Ousmane Dembele to a contract extension or to sell him before he becomes a free agent in the summer.

Barcelona have struggled to fill the hole Lionel Messi left when he departed in the summer. With Dembele out of favour, Ansu Fati injured and Memphis Depay and Luuk de Jong struggling, the club were desperate to add punch in attack.

Aubameyang’s arrival follows Spain winger Ferran Torres, bought at the end of December for €55 million from Manchester City, and the return of both club legend Dani Alves at 38 and Spanish winger Adama Traore, on loan from Wolves.

They sit fifth in La Liga, a point behind Atletico Madrid, who they play at home on Sunday, when Aubameyang could make his debut.

Aubameyang, who was named African Footballer of the Year in 2015, was recruited by Arsenal on the last day of the 2018 January transfer window for a reported £56 million ($76 million), a club record at the time.

In almost exactly four years at the club, he appeared in 165 competitive games and scored 92 goals

But his form dipped rapidly after he signed a three-year contract that reportedly made him the Premier League’s highest earner at the time in September 2020.

The striker’s indiscipline and chronic lack of punctuality caused problems at Arsenal as they had at Dortmund.

In December he was stripped of the captaincy for what Arsenal described as “his latest disciplinary breach”.

“I have always been 100 per cent focused and committed on doing everything I can for this club which is why leaving without a real goodbye hurts – but that is football,” Aubameyang wrote to Arsenal fans on Instagram after he was released on Tuesday.

In January, Aubameyang was part of the Gabon squad at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon but missed the first two games with coronavirus before being sent home after team medical staff said they had detected “cardiac lesions”.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro