Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only joined Barcelona in January, having terminated his contract at Arsenal, yet has had a positive impact on the side.
The Gabonese forward has scored 10 goals in 16 appearances for the club so far, including eight in La Liga, as Barcelona have soared up the table in recent months.
The Blaugrana signed three more players in the winter transfer window along with Aubameyang – Dani Alves, Ferran Torres and Adama Traore – and that has boosted the squad significantly.
What problem could Aubameyang cause?
Aubameyang signed on a free transfer from Arsenal, and also accepted a significant wage cut to complete the move, but there could be a problem for Barcelona next season.
The forward’s wages are set to increase in the next campaign, as part of a deal which saw him join the club in the first place – his wages were set to be spread across campaigns to ease the financial burden on the club.
Aubameyang is set to earn €18 million next season – a huge rise on the €2m he is earning this season – making him one of the highest earners in the squad next season.
That could mean several players may be forced out of the club next season to make up for the inflated wage bill in the next campaign.
Aubameyang has been a mainstay in the first team under Xavi in recent times as the team improved drastically since the January transfer window.
He has contributed to important moments, including scoring a brace in their 4-0 thrashing of Real Madrid in March and a hat-trick in an away fixture against Valencia.
At the moment, several players are linked with a move from Barcelona including Sergi Roberto, Martin Braithwaite, Memphis Depay and Riqui Puig, while Adama Traore’s loan spell from Wolverhampton may not be extended.
That could open space on the wage bill and allow the club to meet Aubameyang’s contract.