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Arsenal sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for club record fee

Arsenal are shelling out £55 million to sign Aubameyang, more than they’ve ever spent on a single player before.

Arsenal Unveil New Signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Arsenal have a new forward and new record signing, having agreed with German club Borussia Dortmund on a £55 million transfer for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that breaks the club record transfer fee. The Gunners are, understandably, excited about the idea of having such a prolific striker in the team.

Aubameyang’s transfer — which could rise to £60 million with various add-ons — gives Arsenal the replacement for the recently departed Alexis Sanchez that they needed. The Gunners got a taste of life without the kind of dynamic, slashing, attention-grabbing striker Alexis and Aubameyang gives them on Tuesday against Swansea City, and that was a flat, awful performance with no attacking life that ended in a humiliating 3-1 defeat. That dreadful showing coupled with the arrival of the transfer deadline day added some real urgency to the deal for Arsenal.

In Aubameyang, Arsenal are getting a forward with a prodigious scoring record — since the Gabonese international star arrived at Dortmund in 2013, the only player in the Bundesliga to eclipse his scoring rate is Robert Lewandowski, and last season Aubameyang scored a jaw-dropping 31 goals, the most in Germany’s top division.

But life wasn’t always smooth for Aubameyang in Dortmund — he’s had repeated clashes with the club over rules issues, leading to multiple suspensions this season for various infractions, mostly having to do with his inattention to time. He’s often been late to training sessions or missed team meetings entirely, leading to questions about his discipline both off and on the pitch. That’s going to be something for Arsenal to monitor and handle carefully, and hopefully Aubameyang’s issues with time were more symptomatic of a relationship with BVB that was already starting to break down a bit when those problems began.

Aubameyang is being reunited with an old friend at Arsenal, fellow recent signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The duo were very successful with each other at Dortmund, and Arsene Wenger will be hoping to tap into that chemistry to help bring both players up to speed as soon as possible during a critical stage of Arsenal’s season.