What will Arsène Wenger have on his headstone when he finally turns his toes up? Probably something along the lines of “Here lies Arsène Wenger, who died on a long-term deal for an undisclosed fee”.
Yesterday saw confirmation of Arsenal’s third and final purchase, this time of Brazil’s u-19 captain Denilson, signed, as ever, for some money or other, and on a contract of a few years or more or less. Apart from the Arsely Hole transfer, the boss likes to keep mum over money, doesn’t he? Sensible really – if everyone knows what we pay they can adjust the prices of players we are after accordingly.
Talking of the latter, I’m still baffled at the fee. £5m plus a player worth, say, £7m makes £12m, not the £16m or £20m much talked about, so naturally there’s been some rumour that there’s more cash to come at a later date. This is nothing but conjecture at the moment, but it might make sense. As it stands, I’d say Arsenal got three or four million too little, but maybe that was a price to pay to get him off our hands.
But the good thing is we’re now settled, and we can get on with improving on our 17th place. It’s ever so exciting all of a sudden, but I have to say, the transfer of players from one club to another is getting, year on year, more and more tortuous. Fuelled by 24/7 sports channels and, of course, the internet, the whole thing becomes a total charade, with reporters hanging about in the dead of night for signs of agents’ cars and players releasing information through press releases and newspapers. Sometimes, just sometimes, I yearn for the days when it wasn’t such a chuffing circus.