Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has his sights set on becoming the new Thierry Henry after joining Arsenal, who sold Olivier Giroud to Chelsea on a busy transfer deadline day.
Gabon striker Aubameyang completed his move to the Emirates Stadium from Borussia Dortmund for a club-record fee of £56million.
Later on Wednesday afternoon, it was confirmed Michy Batshuayi would head to Dortmund on a loan deal from Chelsea, with France forward Giroud arriving at Stamford Bridge on an 18-month contract, reportedly for a fee of around £18m.
The announcement of Aubameyang’s arrival proved a welcome tonic in the wake of a 3-1 defeat for Arsenal at Premier League relegation-battlers Swansea on Tuesday night.
Aubameyang netted 98 goals in 144 Bundesliga games for Dortmund and now wants to emulate the Gunners’ leading goalscorer of all-time.
“I think the club has such a big history and great players like Thierry Henry,” Aubameyang told Arsenal Player.
“He’s an example for us strikers because he was fast and scored a lot of goals.
“I think I have to work a lot to be like him, but I will do. I’m a fast player and I score goals too, like Henry a little bit. But as I said, I have to work a lot more.”
The 28-year-old comes in following Alexis Sanchez’s switch to Manchester United and will see him link up again with former Dortmund team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
“Of course I can join Micki in this team, so I’m really happy to be here in this great team,” he added.
“I hope that we will come back to the top as soon as possible. I will do my best to join in.”
Tensions between Aubameyang and Dortmund had grown in recent weeks, with the forward suspended twice this season for disciplinary reasons. He was, though, wished the best by sporting director Michael Zorc when the transfer had been confirmed.
Aubameyang posted a message on Instagram apologising for the acrimonious circumstances surrounding his departure, but describing himself as a “crazy kid”.
“First of all sorry for everything that has happened in the last month. But I wanted a transfer last summer, it did not work, but now it had to,” he said.
“Maybe it was not the best way for me to choose, but everyone knows that Auba is crazy – and yes, I am a crazy kid.
“I’ve made mistakes, but never with malice.”
Henry hopes Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan can rekindle their understanding from when they played at Dortmund together.
“I hope they were thinking about that at Arsenal: Aubameyang played with Mkhitaryan at Borussia Dortmund so they know about each other and how they play,” the former Gunners striker told Sky Sports News.
“I think it’s a great thing that you can add two guys coming from two different clubs that already played with each other.”
Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, meanwhile, is widely reported to have signed a lucrative contract extension which keeps the World Cup winner at the club until 2021.
Mathieu Debuchy has followed Giroud out of the Emirates Stadium, joining French side St Etienne until the end of the season after his Arsenal contract was terminated.
The 32-year-old links up with fellow new signings Yann M’Vila, Paul-Georges Ntep and Neven Subotic at the Ligue 1 club.