If losing Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United wasn’t bad enough for Arsenal fans, hearing about the role Thierry Henry played in the move made things ten times worse.
Supporters turned on Henry, Arsenal’s all-time leading goalscorer and a man who owns a statue outside their stadium, after Sanchez revealed the Frenchman inspired his move to Old Trafford.
“I remember today, a conversation I had with Henry, a historic Arsenal player, who changed club for the same reason and today is my turn,” Sanchez wrote in a message to Arsenal’s supporters on Instagram.
Ouch. Henry is a Gunners legend, a player who delivered so many happy moments during his eight full seasons at the club, and when he returned in the 2011-12 campaign.
Many Arsenal fans read Sanchez’s comments as though Henry had helped to convince him to join the Red Devils. Naturally, they were angry.
Such was the level of frustration among Arsenal supporters - some called for his statue to be removed - that Henry has decided to respond to them.
Henry has responded
The Frenchman took to Twitter late on Tuesday to deny suggestions he told Sanchez to leave Arsenal.
“I know I don’t need to explain this to the majority of Arsenal fans but contrary to speculation at no time did I tell Alexis Sanchez to leave Arsenal,” Henry wrote.
“I had no idea he was going to sign for Man Utd until I saw it on the news like the rest of you.”
That’s settled, then.
Henry loves Arsenal
To be fair, any Arsenal supporter who genuinely thought that Henry had told their best player to leave for a Premier League rival only needs to read the tweet he sent before his response to the Sanchez saga.
On January 9, the six-year anniversary of his goal against Leeds United in his comeback game, Henry posted a video of that special moment on Twitter along with the message: “This day six years ago was one of the best moments of my life. #onceagooneralwaysagooner @Arsenal”.
Henry’s role as a pundit means he often has to criticise Arsenal, but it’s evident that he will always want the club to succeed.
The departure of Sanchez has made that task more difficult but the mood around the Emirates Stadium doesn’t seem to be one of pessimism.
The Gunners brought in Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the Sanchez transfer and there is growing confidence that a deal for Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can be completed this month, too.
Seeing Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan together, along with Mesut Ozil, would certainly put a smile on Henry’s face.
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