Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reveals he came close to joining Tottenham but move broke down because they ‘never called back’… as the Arsenal captain insists he would rather RETIRE than play for north London rivals
- Arsenal captain spoke to Spurs towards end of his spell with Saint-Etienne
- Tottenham ‘never called back’ and Aubameyang joined Arsenal in January 2018
- Arsenal captain said snub provides extra motivation in north London derbies
- Aubameyang has scored four goals in seven top-flight derbies against Spurs
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has revealed he came close to signing for Tottenham five years before he joined Arsenal, but insisted he would now rather retire than cross the north London divide.
The 32-year-old signed for Arsenal in a £58million deal from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018, but could have moved to the Premier League much earlier in his career.
According to the Arsenal captain, Spurs led the list of suitors for Aubameyang in the period of his last few days at Saint Etienne and the start of his Borussia Dortmund career in 2013, but never followed up on their interest.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang revealed he came close to joining Spurs before his Arsenal switch
When asked by Sky Sports during a fans Q&A on Friday if he would rather play for Spurs or retire, the Gabon international said: ‘You don’t have to ask the question. You know it already, I would retire.
‘Even more [so] because a few years ago I was close to signing for Tottenham, but in the end… I don’t know what they did.
‘I was in Saint-Etienne I think [at the time], I’m not sure, or at the beginning of [my spell at Borussia] Dortmund. I don’t remember exactly. I came here, I went to the stadium as well, to White Hart Lane.
‘The day after they just never gave an answer, they never called back so I was like: ”Ok, don’t worry”, so that’s why every time I play against them, they know [why I am extra motivated]’.
Aubameyang said he visited White Hart either at the end of his spell with Saint-Etienne or shortly after he moved to Borussia Dortmund
Aubameyang scored 41 goals in 97 appearances in all competitions during three seasons with Saint-Etienne, helping Les Verts to lift the 2013 French Ligue Cup before moving to Dortmund at the end of that season.
In five years in the Bundesliga, Aubameyang developed into one of the best strikers in Europe, scoring 141 goals in 213 games in all competitions and winning two German Super Cups and one German Cup before moving to Arsenal.
His spell at the Emirates has proved just as prolific – his goal ratio stands at 0.58 in 159 games, marginally lower than the 0.67 he recorded at Dortmund – but Aubameyang has only lifted the FA Cup and the Community Shield with the Gunners.
Aubameyang has scored four goals in seven Premier League meetings against Spurs
The Arsenal captain has won two NLD derbies in the Premier League and lost three times
Aubameyang has scored more Premier League goals only against Burnley, Watford, Newcastle and Norwich than he has against Spurs
Sol Campbell, William Gallas, Pat Jennings and Emmanuel Adebayor are among the players in the past to have crossed the north London divide, but Aubameyang has insisted he will not be joining that list.
Spurs are one of Aubameyang’s favourite victims in the Premier League and he has scored four times in seven north London derbies – the latest of which came in the 3-1 win in September – winning twice and losing three times in the process.
In the top flight, Aubameyang has scored more goals only against Burnley – eight – Watford – six – and Newcastle and Norwich – both five.