Xavi admits he ‘feels bad’ after Barcelona decided to sell Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Chelsea and has labeled his former striker a ‘gem’.
Chelsea signed ex-Arsenal captain Aubameyang for £10million on deadline day, with Blues defender Marcos Alonso joining the Nou Camp as part of the deal.
Aubameyang made a dream move to Barca just six months ago and Xavi admits he was reluctant to lose a player who was ‘a role model 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 a role model on and off the field.
“He made a big difference – look at his numbers. As a person he is a gem and always trains with a smile on his face.
“It’s a shame because you want those kinds of players in your squad but it was a good opportunity for him and for the club too.
“We had to put the pieces of the puzzle together and in the end we’re all happy I think.
“But I feel bad as a coach when I lose a player like Aubameyang. He was a role model for the club and for all players.”
Aubameyang sent a farewell message to Barcelona fans shortly after becoming a Chelsea player, saying it was an “indescribable” feeling playing for the La Liga giants.
He posted on social media: “Culers spent six months with you but it feels like six years to me.
“All the heart I have received is beyond words and especially in these days I wish you the best and I hope to see you soon. Many Thanks.’
On his move to Stamford Bridge, Aubameyang added: “I’m really happy. It’s an honor to be part of this team and I can’t wait to get started.
“I still have some business to do with the Premier League so it’s good to be back and it’s really exciting.”
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