Speaking to the press, Wenger suggested that “it was a little bit difficult to make all the, uh, necessary arrangements because you have all the three sides who have to agree, the club who wish to buy, the player, and the club he plays for at the moment. Are we pleased? Yes, each player bring a little bit of quality to the club.”
Of which players does he speak? First and foremost, perhaps the most-stunning swoop brings none other than Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney to London for a fee of £617m, a stunning number even in comparison to some of the fees commanded over the summer for the likes of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Neymar to Barcelona, and seven stiffs combined to Tottenham.
However, the news did not end there, as the signings continued—next was Karim Benzema for £471m. Then it was Paul Pogba for £523m. Papadopoulos for £381m. And on and on. Eventually, reporters gave up on trying to keep track of which players had been signed at what amounts and simply watched in slack-jawed amazement.
Seeing that there were no questions forthcoming, Wenger proceeded to interview himself.”Have I been active in the transfer market? Yes. Are we now contenders? Maybe. I don’t rule it out. We will have to see how these new players fit with Arsenal football, how they adjust.” He continued. “Will there be more signings? I don’t want to comment on speculation. You bring me wrong informations, I think I deserve a little bit more credit than this.”
Wenger went on to announce a total of 13 signings for a grand total of £5,460,000,000, eclipsing the club’s previous transfer fee-record of £42,000,000. By a factor of of 130. Seeing or hearing no questions from the press corps, Wenger continued the self-interview. “Have I gone a little bit overboard. I cannot disclose this information. Am I pleased at these new signings? I don’t know. It is too early for that.”
Finally, one reporter found his wits long enough to ask, “are you worried about where these new players will fit into the squad?” Wenger smirked and replied, “each of them brings exceptional quality, but we will have to wait and see.”
“Do these signings make us title contenders? I don’t know. I believe it is too early to talk of these things. First we must play Crystal Palace. Then we will see.”
At that, Wenger took the mic in his hand, said “Wenger out”, dropped the mic to the ground, and with arms outstretched departed the stage. Reporters glanced and gaped at each other. Within hours, The Sun, The Mirror, The Telegraph, and The Independent were running virtually the same headline: “Arsenal make signings, but are they contenders?”