Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been exactly what Arsenal had hoped they’d paid the money for last January.
The ex-Borussia Dortmund forward has bagged 17 goals in his 23 Premier League appearances and he now sits alongside Eden Hazard at the top of this season’s scoring charts.
The move was always going to be a bit of a gamble for both player and club, however.
Aubameyang was leaving a side where he’d scored 100 goals over the previous three years for a new chapter with Arsenal, who haven’t been at their best in that time.
Arsenal, on the other hand, were paying a reported £56 million for a 28-year-old, leaving them with no time to let him bed in.
The Gunners needed an instant return on their massive investment but they’ve got exactly that as Aubameyang looks certain to play an enormous role under Unai Emery.
And they can feel somewhat fortunate to have Aubameyang at the club, given Dortmund’s reluctance to sell their star player in his prime.
But as ex-boss Peter Stoger revealed in Sport Bild, the forward had used certain methods to force their hand.
“He left me no other choice,” Stoger said of Aubameyang. “He trained well four days of the week.
“But to underline his wish for a transfer, he skipped team meetings before games or refused to run during the final training.
“We did our best to keep him for at least another half a year, but Auba wasn’t ready for that.”
It’s never nice to hear that a player has taken liberties with their job in order to get a move away, although at least Aubameyang wasn’t neglecting things entirely.
It clearly comes across as a considered effort to send a message to his club and it’s one that certainly worked as Dortmund felt they had to sell him halfway through a season.
Nine months later, it appears that the deal actually worked out best for everyone; Aubameyang got his move, Arsenal got their goalscorer, and Dortmund have taken advantage of the hole left by the forward to blood youngsters – and now they’re sitting at the top of the Bundesliga.
While his methods may have been questionable, this saga does have a happy ending.