Aubameyang keen to put ‘problem’ with Arteta behind him and shine at Barcelona

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal FC, Transfer window
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (via PA)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is determined to put a complicated few months behind him after falling out with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and kickstart his career again at Barcelona.

The 32-year-old former Gunners captain was released from his lucrative contract by the Premier League club on Monday, having not made an appearance since being disciplined in December for returning home late from an agreed trip abroad.

The Gabon forward then completed his free transfer to the Catalan giants, having initially arrived in Barcelona on Monday morning ahead of the end of the January window.

Aubameyang, who could be handed a debut against Atletico Madrid this weekend, was unveiled by Barcelona on Thursday afternoon, having previously trained with his new squad.

“It’s true that they were complicated months and I think football has these things sometimes,” Aubameyang told a press conference.

“But if I have to say something about this topic (leaving Arsenal), it is that I never wanted to do anything wrong on my part, but I think this is the past and I want to think about the present.”

Aubameyang added: “It was just a problem with him (Arteta) and then he made the decision. I can’t say much more.

“I wasn’t happy, I stayed very calm and that’s it.”

Aubameyang scored 92 goals in 163 appearances for the Gunners after moving from Borussia Dortmund four years ago.

Having signed a contract until June 2025, which contains a buy-out clause of 100 million euros (£83.7m), Aubameyang is determined to hit the ground running with his new club.

“I am happy and ready to do everything possible to put Barca back on top. There is the right atmosphere and quality to do that,” Aubameyang said.

“I am mentally ready because I have clear ideas in my head. I will give it my very best from any position on the field.

“I have spoken to (Barcelona coach) Xavi and he wants me to be centre forward, but if he ever wants me to play on the wings, I will do that no problem at all.

“I am ready to do that in a very good quality team, I can’t wait to start. I hope to score a lot of goals and help the team.

“It is a dream to be at one of the best clubs in the world, and I never want to wake up from that dream.”

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