The deadline day signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on a free transfer has generated a lot of excitement at Barcelona.
Xavi Hernandez was desperate to bring in a new striker in January and spent a significant time chasing Alvaro Morata. However, Atletico Madrid’s unwillingness to sanction a deal forced Barça to look for alternatives and a chance to sign Aubameyang presented itself.
The 32-year-old had fallen out of favour at Arsenal and was made available for a transfer. While it was initially expected that he would be arriving on loan, the Blaugrana were able to get him on a Bosman deal after the Gunners terminated his contract.
Aubameyang has not been at his best in the past eighteen months. Despite that, there is a lot of optimism and excitement with his arrival at Camp Nou.
Indeed, according to Diario AS, Xavi and his coaching staff consider the former Arsenal captain as the ‘new Samuel Eto’o’ at Barcelona and have immense faith that the striker will deliver at Camp Nou.
Eto’o is a legend at Barça, having plundered 130 goals and 40 assists from 199 matches during his time with the club. While it would be harsh to expect Aubameyang to show a similar level of productivity, the 32-year-old does bring in a lot of qualities similar to the Cameroonian icon.
The Gabonese international has plenty to offer for the Blaugrana, with Xavi and his staff believing that his arrival will elevate the quality of the roster and provide the team with an infallible goalscorer that was missing in the first half of the season.
Aubameyang has signed a contract that runs until the summer of 2025. But Barcelona and the striker have the option of mutually terminating the agreement in 2023 should things not work out as planned. It is now up to the centre-forward to show that he can live up to the expectations that the coaching staff are placing on him.