Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has hailed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s revival at Barcelona, suggesting he looks happy again.
Appearing on his FIVE YouTube channel, Rio Ferdinand spoke about various topics, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s recent turnaround in form at Barcelona. The Manchester United legend attributed this revival to newfound belief and happiness after leaving Arsenal in the January transfer window.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was once a revered figure at Arsenal, almost carrying the team on his shoulders with blistering performances. The Gabonese striker even won the Golden Boot in his first full season at the Emirates before becoming the club captain. But things took a turn for the worse after he signed a new deal with the north Londoners at the onset of the 2020/21 season.
Aubameyang’s situation worsened in the first half of the ongoing campaign when a few too many disciplinary breaches cost him his place in the side as well as the Arsenal captaincy. After being banished from the first-team squad, a January departure was necessary for Aubameyang, and he joined Barcelona right at the end of the transfer window.
The move has done wonders for Aubameyang as he has rediscovered his best form, scoring five goals in six games thus far, including a match-winning hat-trick against Valencia in La Liga. The 32-year-old also played his part as Barcelona beat Napoli to reach the UEFA Europa League Round of 16. Now, Rio Ferdinand has heaped praise on the former Arsenal captain.
The Manchester United legend said, “I just feel that he looks happy again. I saw him at Arsenal for a number of months where he just didn’t look happy, and people undervalue how important your happiness is as a footballer or in any job that you’ve got.”
“You have to have that element of happiness and enjoyment and fulfilment, and he wasn’t having that at Arsenal. Aubameyang has gained, he’s got some love back, he’s got some attention and he’s got some belief back from a manager that wants him to be there and appreciates his footballing ability.”
Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes recently shed some light on Aubameyang’s departure from Arsenal, suggesting the 32-year-old had problems with the coaching staff. But Arsenal is in the past now, with Aubameyang looking to go from strength to strength at Barcelona.