Xavi admits he ‘feels bad’ after Barcelona decided to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Chelsea and has described his former striker as a ‘jewel’.
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Chelsea signed ex-Arsenal captain Aubameyang for £10m on deadline day, with Blues defender Marcos Alonso moving to the Nou Camp as part of the deal.
Aubameyang only completed a dream move to Barca six months ago and Xavi admits he was reluctant to lose a player who was ‘an example on and off the pitch’.
In 23 games for Barcelona last season, Aubameyang scored 13 goals including a brace in a memorable 4-0 win over El Clasico rivals Real Madrid.
‘I feel bad because he helped us a lot,’ said Xavi. ‘He was an example on and off the pitch.
‘He made a big difference – look at his numbers. As a person, he’s a jewel and always training with a smile on his face.
‘It’s a shame because you want to have these type of players in your squad but it was a good opportunity for him and for the club as well.
‘We needed to put the pieces of the puzzle together and in the end, I think we’re all happy.
‘But I feel bad as a coach to lose a player like Aubameyang. He was an example for the club and for all players.’
Aubameyang sent a farewell message to Barcelona’s fans shortly after becoming a Chelsea player and says it was an ‘indescribable’ feeling to play for the La Liga giants.
He posted on social media: ‘Culers, six months spent with you, but it seems like six years.
‘All the heart I’ve received is indescribable and especially these days I wish you the best and I hope to see you soon. Thank you.’
On his move to Stamford Bridge, Aubameyang added: ‘I’m really happy. It’s an honour to be part of this team and I can’t wait to start.
‘I have some unfinished business with the Premier League so it’s good to be back and really exciting.’
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