Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang admits Arsenal tabled the only “real offer” for his services as he prepared to leave Borussia Dortmund.
Towards the end of the recent winter window, it became clear that a big-money transfer was on the cards for a prolific striker.
Arsenal quickly emerged as the leading contenders to secure the 28-year-old, with Arsene Wenger once again in the market for attacking reinforcements.
Aubameyang was happy to complete a club-record £55 million deal with the Gunners, with the Premier League providing a perfect stage for a man who had turned a deaf ear to talk of possible moves to America or China.
“It was the next step for me, it’s a big club,” Aubameyang told Sky Sportson his switch to north London.
“For me it’s a bit bigger than Dortmund, and this was a good step for me and my career.
“I didn’t want to go, for example, to China, because I want to do a lot of things here in Europe before I think about China or America.
“Arsenal were the only club who made an offer, a real offer, and I’m really happy, because it’s a good club.”
Aubameyang was not the only one to see Arsenal offer him an attractive escape route during the January window, with a former Borussia Dortmund team-mate also making his way to north London.
Having been left frustrated by inconsistencies at Manchester United, Henrikh Mkhitaryan traded Old Trafford for Emirates Stadium in a swap deal which took Alexis Sanchez in the opposite direction.
Like Aubameyang, the Armenian is happy to have linked up with the Gunners, with the 29-year-old reiterating his belief that Arsenal are a batter fit for his skill set.
“Everyone knows Arsenal play offensive football, and I love to play offensive football,” said Mkhitaryan.
“In Manchester we were playing offensive football too but not in every game, so it was quite different.
“I don’t want to blame anyone because every manager at every club has a different philosophy. Maybe I couldn’t fit perfectly in the Manchester football.”
Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang will get another opportunity to prove that they are right for Arsenal when the under-fire Gunners face Manchester City on Thursday, four days on from suffering a demoralising 3-0 defeat to the Premier League leaders in the Carabao Cup final.