Less than a month after he was rejected at Arsenal for breaching the club’s disciplinary protocol, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is having a time of his life at FC Barcelona.
Recall that the striker was sidelined for most of December to January for committing a disciplinary breach at Arsenal. The North London club was so unhappy with him that they ended his reign as the club’s captain.
Due to coach Mikel Arteta’s failure to forgive the Gabon international, Aubameyang was left with no choice but to look for another club for himself.
At that point, he was still having about 18 months left on his contract which was worth £350,000-per-week but Arsenal were ready to terminate the contract which they did during the January transfer window.
Reports claimed that Arsenal had to pay off the former Africa player of the year before he joined FC Barcelona on a free transfer on January 31, 2022.
Since then, the former Arsenal captain has been able to play for the Spanish giants four times in all competitions.
On Sunday, the 32-year-old Gabonese striker made headlines after scoring his first hat-trick in FC Barcelona shirt. His three goals helped Barca to beat Valencia 4-1 away from home.
Aubameyang scored his first goal during the Spanish La Liga match in the 23rd minute. In the 38th minute, the Gabonese footballer made it two goals for himself. While in the 63rd minute, the former Borussia Dortmund striker recorded his third goal in the game.
His third goal was first given to Pedri but the referee gave it to Auba because Pedri’s shot made contact with Auba before it landed in the net.
The hat-trick Aubameyang scored against Valencia on Sunday has made the striker the first player in modern football history to score a hat-trick in Ligue 1, Bundesliga, Premier League, and now La Liga.
Aubameyang and Sergio Busquets react
After Barca’s 4-1 win over Valencia on Sunday, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took to his Instagram page to write: “Vamooooooossssss⚽️⚽️⚽️ First LaLiga start – first hattrick⚡️ Incredible feeling and great team performance!! Special thanks to @pedrigonzalez for the assist, I promise I got your back next time.
During the post-match interview, the Gabonese striker reflected on how Mestalla, the home ground of Valencia has been like a home to him. He remembered how he scored a hat-trick against the team in Mestalla in 2019 when he led Arsenal to play against Valencia in a Europa League match.
“The last time I played here I scored a hat-trick with Arsenal. I like playing here… Mestalla is like my home”, the Gabonese striker said.
Also, his teammate and captain at FC Barcelona, Sergio Busquets described the former Arsenal captain as a great player, adding that the striker could be what Barca have been missing upfront.
“We are beginning to find that efficiency that we were lacking earlier in the season,” Busquets told reporters on Sunday.
“I hope Aubameyang is that one piece that we were missing upfront. He is a great player that arrived hungry because he was not getting many opportunities at his last club. It is a luxury having him in our team.”
Aubameyang’s contract with FC Barcelona
After Arsenal rejected Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, FC Barcelona agreed to offer him a contract that will keep him at the club until June 30, 2025.
In his first five months as Barca’s player, the Gabonese striker will reportedly earn £2.1 million. However, when pay-off from Arsenal is included, Aubameyang is expected to take home at least £6 million in his first five months.
Afterward, FC Barcelona are expected to make an upward review of his salary from next season. By then, the club is expected to have been more financially stable.
Reports claimed that for the fact that Arsenal were able to terminate Aubameyang’s contract on mutual grounds, the Premier League club saved a whopping £25 million in wages.
But that is no longer Aubameyang’s business since he, his wife, Alysha Behague, and his two sons – Curtys and Pierre are enjoying life in Spain.