Arsene Wenger believes the £135m deal that saw Barcelona sign Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund is “disconnected to reality and truth”.
Wenger has spoken openly about the market and the inflation of transfer fees several times in the past. He’s never been a fan of where the market is headed. This time, he has criticised the transfer fee Barcelona spent to sign Dembele from Dortmund this summer.
The Catalans reportedly parted with £135m (€148m) to sign the French winger, a fee which Wenger believes spiralled out of control. “The amount of money is completely disconnected to reality and the truth,” he said, reports the Metro.
“I give you one example: no matter how well you work as a football coach – Dembele last year was 15 (million), this year 150 – no matter how well you work on the football pitch, you cannot make a player go from 15 to 150.
“But the calculation between investment and what you can get back has gone – it’s just, can you afford to buy, or not?”
This could be seen as somewhat hypocritical of Wenger, however. After all, he wanted to sign Thomas Lemar for £92m this summer, which would have been a significant increase on the fee that Monaco spent to sign him from Caen in 2015.
And while £135m for a young winger is outrageous, Barcelona did receive £198m from Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain. The scale may be much bigger, but things did balance out for Barcelona at least.
So as much as Wenger doesn’t like what the transfer market has become, he has to accept it if he wants to bring good players to Arsenal.