Burnley announced the signing of Samuel Bastien from Standard Liege in eyebrow-raising fashion with an incredible WWE-themed reveal featuring The Rock.
The Clarets are undertaking some colossal changes this summer following their Premier League relegation last season as faces new and old continue to come and go. Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany has been appointed to the helm as the club’s first-team manager while a number of last campaign’s underperforming crop have been culled.
Weeks after clashing with fellow Claret Connor Roberts, £12million January flop Wout Weghorst has departed for Turkish side Besiktas, while the Lancashire-based outfit hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons after Dale Stephens revealed he learned of his release via the club’s Twitter feed. Bastien has now arrived as Kompany’s fifth signing of the summer, and if the midfielder is even half as good as his announcement video, the 25-year-old is going to be some player.
The Clarets confirmed the DR Congo international’s arrival is sensational style. Along with the caption ‘Who’s next?’ the Championship club tweeted an already-iconic announcement video which featured WWE legend The Rock.
The footage showed Dwayne Johnson’s alter-ego strutting around the ring with a microphone in hand, before being abruptly interrupted by commotion coming from the stage entrance. Stunned, the wrestling hero could then be seen staring in shock, eager to learn the identity of the interloper.
The camera then cut to the arena entrance, but instead of displaying the walk-on montage for a fellow wrestler, the big screens showcased a short highlights reel of Bastien’s best bits from his time with Belgian club Standard Liege. The Rock continued to look confused as the raucous crowd erupted in anticipation.
The camera cut back to the stage entrance but the identity of the interrupter was unclear due to plenty of pyrotechnics. As the lens zoomed in to take a closer look, the smoke cleared to reveal Burnley new-boy Bastien posing and rubbing his hands together.
The WWE audio continued to play over the top and the legendary voice of wrestling commentator Jim Ross could be heard shouting “He’s here! They can’t believe him!” Bastien becomes Burnley’s fifth signing of the window, following in the footsteps of Scott Twine from MK Dons, Oxford United’s Luke McNally, and young City pair CJ Egan Riley and Taylor Harwood-Bellis.
Speaking to Burnley’s club website, Bastien said: “I’m very proud to join Burnley Football Club. I’m excited to discover the Championship, in my new colours. I can’t wait to get started, begin pre-season and meet my new teammates.”