By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s four-year stay at Arsenal has come to an end after the striker left the club by “mutual agreement” ahead of an expected move to Barcelona.
The 32-year-old had not played for the Gunners since being stripped of the captaincy in December for a breach in club discipline.
But Aubameyang also had some good memories during his time at the Emirates Stadium and here, the PA news agency takes a look at his best and worst moments in north London.
Causing pain in Spain
Aubameyang won the Premier League Golden Boot during his first full season at Arsenal – but it was a Europa League display where the Gabon forward really showed his class.
In the semi-final second leg away to Valencia he took the game by the scruff of the neck by hitting a hat-trick to seal Arsenal’s place in the final with a 7-3 aggregate win.
Playing alongside Alexandre Lacazette, Aubameyang equalised on the night with a fine volley before sliding in to convert a second and tapping in for his third on a fine night for Unai Emery’s side – who went on to lose the final to London rivals Chelsea.
Having already started drawing comparisons to Arsenal great Thierry Henry, Aubameyang bested the Frenchman’s early record.
Opening the scoring in a 4-0 win over Norwich on July 1, 2020 saw Aubameyang become the fastest Arsenal player to 50 Premier League goals
He needed just 79 appearances to reach the feat, sixth on the all-time Premier League list and four matches quicker than Henry.
Winning at Wembley
While the 2020 FA Cup may be the only major honour Aubameyang won in his four-year stint at Arsenal, he was the key man in delivering the first trophy under Mikel Arteta’s management.
With league form floundering, Arsenal caused a minor shock by seeing off Manchester City 2-0 in the semi-final, Aubameyang scoring in either half to wrap up the victory.
Chelsea were again the opponents in the final but this time it would be Arsenal celebrating as Aubameyang repeated his semi-final achievements by bagging a brace in a 2-1 success.
Blues versus the Clarets
Aubameyang had scored just once in his previous 10 Premier League games as Burnley visited the Emirates Stadium in December 2020.
He finally found the back of the net – but it was at the wrong end as he flicked in a header to hand Burnley a 1-0 win.
The ignominy was made even worse by the fact Arsenal were playing in front of 2,000 fans as coronavirus restrictions had been briefly lifted.
Dropped for the derby
Aubameyang hit four goals in seven north London derby appearances but it was a game against Tottenham on March 14, 2021 which saw him draw plenty of attention.
Arsenal would win the game 2-1 but Arteta’s decision to drop Aubameyang to the bench as the main talking point as the manager said he axed his captain to sustain the club’s long-term “foundation”.
Aubameyang paid the price for a breach of the club’s pre-match protocol as he watched his team-mates come from behind to win at the Emirates Stadium.
Just one game out of the side was Aubameyang’s previous punishment but when he was disciplined for returning late after an agreed trip abroad, Arteta had seen enough.
Aubameyang was stripped of the captaincy and made to train with the youth teams, missing five games before leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations.
He would return early due to health issues, but there was still no way back into Arteta’s thinking and he was allowed to depart on February 1st having not featured since December 6th.