Xavi reveals why Aubameyang is yet to get a Barca start

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner 17 Feb 2022 10:49 CET 3 min read
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in action on debut for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid

Barcelona head coach Xavi has explained why Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has yet to start for the club since joining from Arsenal in January.

After a falling out with Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, Aubameyang pushed for his switch to Spain, even flying out to Barcelona before a deal had been agreed between the two clubs.

Ultimately, a loan switch was brokered, which will see Aubameyang play out the last 18 months of his Arsenal contract at Camp Nou.

Aubameyang was a target for Barcelona because of their lack of forward options, yet he has not been thrown right into the action by Xavi, who has used the Gabon international star off the bench against Atletico Madrid and Espanyol.

In Thursday’s Europa League match against Napoli, Aubameyang should get his first chance to play from the beginning.

“He is training very well, he needed stronger sessions,” Xavi said when asked why the 32-year-old striker had yet to start.

“He is already one hundred percent and we will see him play against Napoli for sure.

“We are very happy with him, he is very professional and very positive.”

Aubameyang at Barca so far

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Barcelona, 2021/22

Aubameyang has not managed an hour on the field for Barcelona in total, having played 57 minutes in two substitute appearances thus far.

This, however, should not come as a great surprise. When he arrived at Camp Nou, he had not played any competitive football since early December, having been frozen out at Arsenal because of a disciplinary breech.

Meanwhile, he did not feature in Gabon’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign after suffering from a heart issue, which saw him sent back to England early.

Aubameyang, though, has put these issues behind him and is now ready to star with Barcelona, with the hitman having previously described the move as a dream.