Former Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has explained how Xavi’s phone call helped him get out of the difficult situation at Arsenal, saying that all he didn’t hesitate much in agreeing to move to Spain.
Aubameyang, currently at Chelsea, left Arsenal in January after mutually terminating his contract with the Premier League side. The Gabon international went on to sign a three-and-a-half-year deal with Barcelona before returning to the English shores this past summer.
The striker spent four and a half years at Arsenal, scoring 92 goals and winning the FA Cup once. The 33-year-old was supposed to spend a longer tenure but Mikel Arteta’s arrival change his plans.
The former Borussia Dortmund frontman began to have problems with his coach and spent the final months of his time at the Emirates training away from the first team after being dropped for ‘disciplinary’ reasons.
Barcelona, then in need of a number 9, approached the forward and this is how the transfer was made possible. Speaking about the move, the 33-year-old explained (h/t Football.london):
“I remember Barcelona called my father first. We knew Xavi. When he called me he told me there was an opportunity because he knew I had problems with Arsenal, but he told me that if I signed for them I could help them a lot. I just said ‘OK!'” he added.
Aubameyang got a new lease of life at Barcelona as he went on to score 13 goals in 23 outings, finishing as the team’s joint-highest goalscorer last season alongside Memphis Depay.
Towards the beginning of the ongoing season, Barcelona acquired Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich and were in urgent need of sales. So when Chelsea came knocking on the doors, Barcelona reluctantly let Aubameyang go.
Signing a two-year agreement with the Blues, the star forward has netted twice in four appearances across all competitions, but is already being linked with a transfer to PSG.