Hans-Joachim Watzke has slammed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for not putting in the effort for Borussia Dortmund ahead of his £56m switch to Arsenal.
The striker completed a move to the Emirates late on in the January transfer window after weeks of speculation surrounding his future – and later apologised to fans on Instagram for ‘everything that had happened’ in the lead up to his departure.
However, in a frank interview with FAZ (h/t the Mirror) Watzke hit out at the former Dortmund hero for the manner in which he left Westfalenstadion – the Dortmund chief executive accusing Aubameyang of ‘withholding’ his best form for the Bundesliga club.
He remarked: “On Thursday, I laid it on the line for the squad — the next player who does something like that will fail miserably.
“He’ll run into major problems. The next player who tries to put us under pressure by withholding performances or even going on strike will not get a pass and will instead sit in the stands.”
Aubameyang’s departure was the second time this season that a Dortmund player had been accused of downing tools by Die Borussen after Ousmane Dembele had done so ahead of his £135m transfer to Barcelona.
Unless you worth like 50 million and a desperate club hears about you and is willing to pay 90
— Massive Football (@MassiveFooty) 6 February 2018
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Watzke stated that Dortmund’s remaining stars were all fully aware that actions such as that duo would not be tolerated further as he looked to lay down a marker to those who were currently contracted to his team.
He added: “They are all aware of it. This is now a public statement. Following Dembele and Aubameyang, there is now an overriding interest for the club — we need to get a better structure into our squad again.
“Aubameyang committed himself to us for this season, especially as a reaction to Dembele’s transfer.
“But he also had the notion that we owed to him because in 2016 he opted for us and decided against very lucrative offers amid the exits of [Mats] Hummels, [Ilkay] Gundogan and [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan.”