Mesut Ozil sends Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang public message after he leaves Arsenal
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left Arsenal to join Barcelona on a free transfer under similar circumstances to those experienced by Mesut Ozil when he joined Fenerbahce last year
Mesut Ozil has sent Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang his best wishes after his former teammate left Arsenal to join Barcelona on a free transfer in the January window.
Aubameyang, 32, ended his Gunners exile by signing a contract with the Catalan giants until 2025 having agreed the move on deadline day.
The Gabonese forward was once the toast of the Emirates but was stripped of the captaincy in mid-December due to a disciplinary breach and never represented the club again.
It is understood Aubameyang arrived back late from a trip to France to visit his mother, who was unwell at the time.
His relationship with Mikel Arteta did not recover and he left Arsenal under regrettable circumstances despite four years of impressive service which included skippering the club to FA Cup glory in 2020.
Aubameyang posted a lengthy, heartfelt message to Gunners fans late on Tuesday night and admitted "leaving without a real goodbye hurts".
Ozil, his teammate in north London for three years, was among those to reply to the social media post on Instagram and commented: "All the best bro."
There are certain parallels between Aubameyang's departure and Ozil's exit to Fenerbahce in last season's January transfer window.
The German playmaker also left without the chance to say farewell to fans as he had been cast out by Arteta many months earlier.
In fact, Ozil's final appearance for the club came in March 2020, 10 months prior to his move to the Turkish giants.
The 33-year-old fell out with Arteta ahead of Project Restart and never played for Arsenal again despite the fact he was earning an eye-watering £350,000 per week.
Remarkably, Aubameyang was taking home the same wage after signing a lucrative extension with the Gunners in September 2020.
No club in Europe was willing to match this salary even though it became clear last month the former Borussia Dortmund striker had no place in Arteta's plans.
This forced Aubameyang to take a substantial pay cut as part of his move to Barca, while Arsenal will save a total of £25million by shifting him from their payroll.
Meanwhile, a number of other Arsenal players reacted to his emotional social media post including defender Gabriel, winger Reiss Nelson and emerging talent Charlie Patino.
Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who joined the Gunners in a £24million transfer from Sheffield United last summer, wrote: "Thanks for looking after me big bro."
Aubameyang has since posted an edited picture of him 'parachuting' into Barcelona with the caption: "I couldn't be happier. More than a club!!!"