Arsenal sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Dortmund for £56m
Arsenal news

Arsenal sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Dortmund for £56m

31/01/2018

Arsenal have completed the signing of striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €63.75 million (£56m).

The club-record move bolsters Arsene Wenger's attack and reunite the Gabon international with former Dortmund teammate Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

The deal was announced after drawn-out negotiations with Dortmund over the transfer fee, while Olivier Giroud has moved across London to Chelsea and Blues striker Michy Bathshuayi has joined Dortmund on loan.

Aubameyang is Arsenal's second major signing of the January transfer window after Mkhitaryan joined from Manchester United in a swap deal for Alexis Sanchez.

The duo formed a partnership at Dortmund before Mkhitaryan's move to Man United in 2016, and Wenger is hoping their combined talents will be more than enough to offset Sanchez's departure.

"Finally. I'm really happy to be here," Aubameyang told Arsenal's official website in his first interview at the club. "And of course I can join Micki in this team, so I'm really happy to be here in this great team."

And he wasn't shy about setting a lofty goal for himself, saying he wants to follow in the footsteps of Arsenal's record scorer Thierry Henry, whom he will share a shirt number (14) with after Theo Walcott's exit for Everton.

"The club have such a big history, and they had great players like Thierry Henry, so it's an example for us strikers," he said. "He was fast, and he scored a lot of goals. So it's really an example. I think I have to work a lot to be like him, but I will do. I'm a fast player and I score goals too, like Henry a little bit."

Aubameyang leaves Dortmund under a cloud, having recently been dropped for disciplinary reasons by Dortmund as the move to Arsenal gathered pace.

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said upon announcing the deal: "Apart from the unpleasant happenings of the last few weeks we like to remember that the story of Aubameyang at BVB was a success story for more than four years.

"He's done great things for the club and scored a lot of important goals. He was part of the cup winning team in 2017. We wish him all the best."

And the player added in a post on Instagram: "First of all, sorry for what happened in the last month. But I already wanted the move last summer, it didn't work out. It had to this time. Maybe it was not the path I set out on, but everyone knows that Auba's crazy, and yes: I am a crazy boy, hahahaha!

"I made mistakes, but never in bad faith. I will never forget those four-and-a-half-years I had at Borussia Dortmund. They gave me the strength for the level I am on now. I thank the BVB family, the fans, the club, the staff and of course my teammates. Your Auba17!"

Aubameyang is reportedly getting a deal worth ВЈ180,000 a week, making him the highest-paid player in Arsenal history -- although Mesut Ozil would be expected to eclipse that figure if he signs a new contract.

The 28-year-old arrives with high expectations, having scored 79 goals in all competitions over the past two seasons. He will become part of a formidable front four together with Mkhitaryan, Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette -- although it remains to be seen how Wenger manages to fit all that attacking talent into the same lineup.

While Arsenal could still make a late bid for West Brom defender Jonny Evans, the capture of Aubameyang represents the highlight of what has been the most active January transfer window of Wenger's 21-year reign.

Aside from Sanchez, Arsenal have also sold Theo Walcott and Francis Coquelin in a major shake-up of the squad. Arsenal have struggled badly during the first half of the season, falling to sixth place in the Premier League and losing in the third round of the FA Cup for the first time under Wenger.

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