Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has joined Arsenal for 63.75 million euros on transfer deadline day, triggering a chain of transfers that is expected to take Olivier Giroud to Chelsea and Michy Batshuayi to Borussia Dortmund.
Arsenal’s move for Aubameyang was completed after the forward passed a medical and concluded the finer details of a club-record deal at London Colney.
Dortmund’s sporting director, Michael Zorc, said on the club’s website: “Apart from the unpleasant episodes in the past few weeks we would like to remember that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at BVB was a real success story.
“In this team he performed superbly for Borussia Dortmund and scored many important goals and was part of the team that won the German Cup in 2017. We wish Pierre-Emerick all the best for his future at Arsenal.”
The transfer has been driven by Arsenal’s new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, who previously worked for Dortmund. He had been instrumental in taking Aubameyang to the Bundesliga from Saint-Étienne and, with the player having made clear he was keen on the move, discussions progressed over the past fortnight.
The deal could be completed only once Dortmund had lined up a replacement for Aubameyang. After initially considering Giroud, they opted to pursue Chelsea’s Batshuayi instead and the striker on Wednesday travelled to the Westfalenstadion for a medical.
Embarrassingly for Arsenal, Arsène Wenger inadvertently confirmed the Aubameyang transfer after his side’s defeat against Swansea. The club’s media team posted a video of the manager which was meant to be his post-match reactions but was instead Wenger welcoming the Gabon international. Wenger says in the video: “Yes, it is good news. We need people who can give us more offensive power. At the moment, we aren’t enough going forward and I am convinced he will give us that.
“He has a big challenge in front of him. He wants to do well in the Premier League. It is absolutely good news for us. His pace, his finishing. The quality of his runs. His huge physical capacity, that will be important in the Premier League.”
Aubameyang has scored 100 goals for Dortmund since the start of the 2015-16 season, 45 more than any player has scored for Arsenal in the same period.