Arsène Wenger reveals Pope’s role in Danny Welbeck deal
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he would never have signed striker Danny Welbeck, 23, if he had not gone to Rome to meet the Pope on transfer deadline day
There have been times in recent seasons when Arsenal fans might have wondered if it would require divine intervention before Arsène Wenger deigned to buy another striker.
As the club’s manager confirmed yesterday, those suspicions may not have been so far off the mark. Wenger may have finished off the £16 million deadline-day deal for Danny Welbeck, but it turns out the Pope should be credited with the assist.
The Gunners boss came in for some criticism after he headed to Italy when everyone else back in England was scrambling around to do some late business, although they club struck late to sign Danny Welbeck from Manchester United.
“Meeting the Pope was an experience I did not want to miss,” said Wenger. “I am a Catholic, so it was an experience, and one [invitation] I accepted a long time ago,
“Pope Francis shows humility and is available to meet for everybody, has a word with everybody. He is a supporter of San Lorenzo in Argentina. He is a football fan, you cannot be born in Argentina and not be a football fan.”