Wenger - I’d have signed Henry no matter what

When Thierry Henry made his Arsenal debut in 1999, few would have thought he would go on to become the best striker in the world.

Short on confidence and self-belief after a tough spell with Juventus, the winger went eight games without scoring and there were even doubts that he was the natural replacement for Real Madrid-bound Nicolas Anelka up front.

As it turned out, we had nothing to worry about. Henry netted in his ninth game and was scoring at will by the end of the season, but Arsène Wenger insists he still would have brought him to north London even if Anelka had remained.

“We would still have signed him because I made him start at Monaco when he was 17 years old,” the manager told Arsenal Player. 

“I felt that when I watched him at Juventus that he had lost belief and confidence. I knew he was a very intelligent player and I would still have tried to sign him. Whether we would have had enough money, that is another question!

“Thierry was more able to play on the wings and Anelka was more a central player. I believe as well that they were friends, so they wanted to play together. They come from the same area of Paris, they knew each other when they were very young and they are good friends. 

“I think that helps to accommodate both. Thierry played central because Nicolas moved away and I thought I would try to play him central, but at the start when he came he was not supposed to be a centre forward.”

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