Aubameyang is 'a crazy guy' but forcing Arsenal move made perfect sense

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The Gunners new boy should be applauded for his unique eccentricity and ambition in securing a move to the Premier League

Football boots encrusted with 4,000 Swarovski crystals, celebrations wearing Batman and Spider-Man masks, unsanctioned trips on holiday and turning up late for training.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s eccentricity is one reason why many have come to love him over the years and while others may not share the same opinion, Arsenal have a player on their hands who is capable of both the unpredictable and spectacular, on and off the pitch.

The 28-year-old ultimately forced his way out of Borussia Dortmund last month to secure the club-record move to the Gunners which saw Arsene Wenger’s side fork out a fee in the region of £60m.

‘Why are no other clubs in for him?’ and ‘he’s a disruptive influence’ were two of the noticeable statements being echoed on social media in some quarters, more so by rival fans who would have surely felt a certain amount of envy at Arsenal signing a player whose goal record stands at 141 goals in just four-and-a-half years with the Bundesliga side.

"In my time here, he [Aubameyang] never came too late,” said Dortmund coach Peter Stoger.

"Only one single time he skipped our team meeting and only one single time he practiced badly because he wanted to put a sign [out], apparently. But, apart from that, he behaved reasonably."

Aubameyang’s character is firmly established on his social media platforms, particularly Instagram, where as recently as Thursday night he could be seen playing Uno and mess-fighting with his family in a hotel room close to Arsenal’s London Colney training ground.

His easy-going nature transcends onto the pitch too and the infectious smile that will undoubtedly boost those around the club is something that has been needed for a long time.

A former Arsenal player who spent almost a decade at the club recently told this Arsenal correspondent that the main problem with the first team is that "they don’t look like they’re enjoying themselves" – but that is clearly about to change with the signings of Aubameyang and his old Dortmund buddy Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

“I don’t think that is a problem," Wenger said when asked about Aubameyang’s disciplinary issues over the past few months.

 

Starting the week like ... #playfree #A

A post shared by Aubameyang (@aubameyang97) on

“He spent four years in Germany and has had some problems in the last year that were linked with the fact that maybe his transfer did not work in the summer and he did not have the same commitment as he had before.

“I am quite confident that this will be a new challenge for him and overall his behaviour will be fine. I know him from France – he played for St Etienne and Bastia – and usually his behaviour was never a problem. He is a professional guy.”

Indeed, Aubameyang’s professionalism has seen him stay loyal to Dortmund for the past couple of seasons when Europe’s elite were circling.

It’s understandable that a player who turns 29 in March would want to push through a move to the Premier League when it was realistically his final chance at doing so.

The dreams of Real Madrid had faded and AC Milan’s reluctance to bring him to the San Siro meant that Arsenal were the perfect fit for a player who suits the north London outfit down to a tee, especially in terms of playing style.

SQUARE Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

"He's fun-loving and a happy person. That makes things easier for me,” said former Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel.

The unique haircuts, stylish clothes and fast cars aren't what Aubameyang should be defined by. Instead, his goals will undoubtedly prove crucial for an Arsenal side battling for a top-four finish this season.

Although he finds himself cup-tied for the Europa League, Wenger now has one of Europe’s best strikers at his disposal, shooting them towards the genuine possibility of Champions League qualification.

Aubameyang, who can speak German, Spanish, Italian, French and English, says that he needs a fast car because speed is a part of him and he loves to hear the engine running.

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He cites his mother as the reason behind his passion for fashion as “she used to run a shop where she sold very colourful clothes".

That individualism and emboldened personality is why supporters are more drawn to the Gabon international than other players.

Wenger knew full well that he would be adding a larger-than-life personality to his Arsenal squad and that’s exactly what he’s going to get with Aubameyang in the coming months  – a world class striker who knows how to have fun on and off the pitch.

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