Arsene Wenger has admitted Thierry Henry might have improved Arsenal's chances of winning the Premier League title a year ago had he not moved to Barcelona.
Henry, who has been celebrating Barcelona's Champions League triumph, departed for Spain two years ago and Wenger's side finished just four points behind Manchester United in their first campaign without him.
He was allowed to leave to pursue silverware and Wenger has vowed not to let another player go for the same reason. "Maybe he could have made a difference, maybe last year," said Wenger. "We had 83 points and with him we could have gained two or three more that could have won us the championship."
However, he added: "But at that time I felt that a guy who has played eight or nine years for you, and has shown that kind of desire, it's difficult to stand in his way.
"If he had done two or three years I would have said 'My friend, you stay here' but when he has given so much [it is different]. He had this opportunity at Barcelona, he had a first very difficult year but I am very happy he made it this year.
"He has convinced everybody because he is a top-class player and you want them to be successful."
Wenger stressed it was only Henry who would receive special treatment to be allowed to leave, while others may not be granted a move.
"It is not the same [if another player said he did not want to wait for trophies]," said Wenger.
"Thierry played a long time for us, nobody else did that and he was close to the end of his career. All these players [in the current squad] are at the start of their careers so it's completely different.
"I think the exact opposite now - I don't see why we should educate the players, get some stick and when they're ready we sell them. That would be masochistic."
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