Even though not a lot of fans would have agreed that it was a great idea, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta allowed star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to leave the club in the January winter transfer window. Aubameyang was going through a goal drought at the Emirates Stadium and was no longer delivering the goals that Arsenal needed to tighten their grip on the top four, but that was not the only problem he had. The striker was also said to have had a fall-out with club manager Arteta and he was severally punished as a result. One of the punishments he got was being stripped of the captain’s armband and that was followed up by him being dropped for some of their games.


After returning from the Gabon national team following his call-up for the just-concluded African Cup of Nations tournament in January, his future as an Arsenal player was up in the air. He was no longer assured that he would continue to be the club’s first choice option moving forward and it was at that moment that he knew that he had to start looking for other clubs who would be more interested in his services.

Just a few days later, Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona registered an interest in him. The Spanish club opened talks with the Gunners about a possible loan move for the striker but after he arrived at the Spain international Airport, things changed and the move was then made to be a permanent one following the termination of his Arsenal contract by mutual consent.

But Anton Ferdinand had revealed that he is unsure if Arsenal are prepared budget-wise to sign a new big-name striker who would be a direct replacement for the Gabobese international star anytime soon.