Former Arsenal defender Sokratis has slammed the Gunners for mistreating and later selling Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been one of the best January signings in Europe this year, having joined Barcelona on a free transfer. He was brought in from Arsenal, who were willing to offload him in the midst of various off the pitch controversies and a lack of form on it.
Prior to his arrival at Barcelona, Aubameyang had only scored four goals in 14 Premier League matches. He was not the best fit for Mikel Arteta’s tactical setup, prompting the Arsenal manager to offload him in January.
However, since joining the Barcelona camp earlier in the year, Aubameyang has rediscovered his scoring form, ten goals in 14 appearances, including a couple against Real Madrid in El Clasico last month.
Speaking to The Sun, Aubameyang’s former teammate Sokratis Papastathopoulos has heaped praise on the Gabonese international while criticising Arsenal for their handling of the situation. He has also called out the club for mistreating other players in the past, including himself.
“Aubameyang is not the only one who left this way from Arsenal, other players also left like that; including myself. That was the team’s choice, each footballer works for the team and has to respect that choice.”
“I’ve known Aubameyang for many years, I know what he can do as a footballer. I am certain of what he will do at Barcelona. I wish him good luck and all the best. The same goes for Arsenal despite the way I also left. I wish them well,” the former Arsenal defender said.
Sokratis and Aubameyang were teammates for many years during their time together at Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal. The Greek international left the Gunners at the start of 2021, after making 69 competitive appearances for the club.
Despite leaving on a bad note, the defender feels no resentment towards the club, adding, “[The way I left] Was not the best, I was left out of the team. But it’s a matter I haven’t spoken about yet, I respected the manager’s choice. I spoke with him.”
“I am a professional, I worked for the club and love the club. I will definitely continue to be a friend and fan just like I am for all the other clubs I played for, such as Dortmund and [AC] Milan,” he added.
Sokratis is currently plying his trade for Olympiacos, where he has become an ever-present figure in the club’s defensive unit. The Greek international was involved in the UEFA Europa League this season, but his team was knocked out in the knockout stages, at the hands of Atalanta.