Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette has revealed he misinterpreted the character of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang before the Gabon international joined the Gunners in 2018.
Lacazette and Aubameyang met on multiple occasions in opposite corners when they were strutting their stuff in Ligue 1 for Lyon and Saint-Etienne respectively, but they donned the same colours in north London for four years before the latter left for Barcelona in February.
Despite Aubameyang’s formidable scoring record across his career, netting prolifically for Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and now Barca, there have been question marks over his attitude, with Mikel Arteta stripping the 32-year-old of his captaincy earlier this season after a disciplinary breach.
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Lacazette has now shed light on his relationship with his former skipper to French outlet Canal TV+, telling reporters about how he “didn’t like” the forward before he joined the club from Dortmund in January 2018.
“I had some misconceptions about him,” he said.
“Before he arrived, I didn’t like him. To be honest, I’m not mates with the Aubameyang you see on Instagram.
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“I’m mates with Pierre-Emerick. People don’t know Pierre-Emerick. They know Aubameyang.”
Lacazette also opened up about his desire to play Champions League football, a scenario that seemed a foregone conclusion at one stage for Arsenal, but Arteta’s men have since lost their last three games to middling opposition to lose grip on fourth and slip down to sixth, with the Frenchman now all but confirming a north London exit this summer.
He said: “I am in discussions with a lot of clubs.
“I have never cut contact with Lyon since I left. I try to return to the club once or twice a year to see the medical staff because we are really close. Lyon know that I am free, they have to come with a proposal.
“I want to play in Europe, it’s been a long time since I played in the Champions League, I’m missing it. It’s a little more complicated, nothing is impossible in life, but it’s a little more complicated.”