Modern football is made up of storylines everywhere, but few will grab the attention quite like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s face off against Arsenal this weekend. It will be the first time the Chelsea striker has come up against his former side since leaving back in January.
The forward was released of his contract due to a “disciplinary issue”, with Mikel Arteta deciding it was the best option at the time after relieving him of club captain duties. The Gabon international then joined Barcelona, where he was filmed criticising his ex-manager.
“Big characters and big players…he [Arteta] can’t deal with it. He needs some young players who don’t say anything. They listen.” Aubameyang has since come out to clear up the old video, claiming there are no hard feelings since. He would then leave the Blaugrana after just a few months to join Chelsea under another previous boss of his in Thomas Tuchel.
The German coach only had a one game reunion, being sacked shortly after in favour of Brighton’s Graham Potter. With their form and the 33-year-old finding his feet at Stamford Bridge, it certainly tees up an interesting feud where the scene is set for one of the Aubameyang or Arteta to get one over each other.
Ahead of the match, the striker was seen on a BT Sport advertisement for the match, handing out a warning to his former club: “Arsenal, nothing personal. I’m back. I’m blue. I’m ready.”
It riled up many of the Arsenal fanbase, who have been unhappy with how the striker has conducted himself ahead of such a big meeting. When asked for his view on it, Arteta said: “You expect players to do that. If you ask any of our players how they feel about where they are, they will say the same.”
While that may be the case, he also addressed how dangerous Aubameyang can be, adding: “Very dangerous. If Auba has something, it’s the ability to put the ball in the back of the net and he’s going to be doing that until the day that he decides he’s had enough of football.”