Berlin (AFP) – Ghana international Kevin-Prince Boateng has defended Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the on-going saga of the Borussia Dortmund star’s possible move to Arsenal drags on after his falling out with the Bundesliga club.
Boateng has a history of falling out with management and said that the level of criticism Aubameyang was receiving was “wrong”.
“I know him very well, he’s a good friend of mine,” Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder Boateng told broadcaster Eurosport.
“The most important thing would be to just sit down (with Dortmund) and use clear words – that’s how you bring about some peace.
“But we must not forget what a great player he is and how much he has given to Dortmund.
“It’s wrong, too, that everyone’s piling in on top of him now.”
Aubameyang has scored 141 goals in 212 games for Dortmund in all competitions since his arrival in 2013.
He fell out with Dortmund after being suspended for the second time this season earlier in the month for turning up late to training.
Aubameyang was dropped for Dortmund’s last two league games and senior Arsenal figures were in the city last Sunday to negotiate a deal.
According to German media reports, Dortmund have rejected Arsenal’s improved bid of 58 million euros ($72 million) for the 28-year-old.
Dortmund, sixth in Germany’s top flight, reportedly want 70 million euros for the Gabon star, who has a Borussia deal until 2021.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger insisted Friday there is no development in the saga.
Dortmund head coach Peter Stoeger has even said Aubameyang could return to the team for Saturday’s league match against Freiburg.
– Humble pie –
Should a transfer fall through, Aubameyang will have to eat considerable humble pie.
He did little to endear himself to the German public after being photographed wearing a Dortmund shirt bearing the name “Dembele”.
Ousmane Dembele boycotted Dortmund training last August to force the club to sell him to Barcelona, where he eventually went for 105 million euros ($124 million).
Boateng, who left Schalke under a cloud in December 2015 after being indefinitely suspended the previous May, feels football clubs in general must show players who are boss.
“If someone returns too late from their holidays, then a fine is not the only thing that helps,” said Boateng.
“You also have to sanction a player differently.
“I think the clubs may have to do more to make it clear that they are the boss.”
Boateng knows all about getting on the wrong side of management.
He last played for Ghana at the 2014 World Cup, but left the tournament under a dark cloud after a row with then-coach James Kwesi Appiah.
But Boateng says being suspended by Schalke taught him a few lessons.
“The suspension at Schalke hurt me the most,” said Boateng, who has played in the England, Spain, Germany and Italy.
“I was shown what it’s like when someone can obstruct your future.
“That’s where I got to know the football business: it does not matter who you are, what your name is, what you have achieved.
“If it does not work, you will be exchanged.”
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