August 3, 2021, marks the 22nd anniversary of one of the most important dates in Arsenal’s history: the day they signed Thierry Henry from Juventus.
The Gunners splashed out a club record fee in the region of £11 million to bring the forward to Highbury in 1999.
“Thierry Henry is a valuable addition to our squad,” Arsene Wenger told reporters at the time.
“He is a young international striker who will be a great asset to Arsenal Football Club. He has good experience of both club and international football and will considerably strengthen our firepower.”
Henry struggled at Juventus but that didn’t deter Wenger from signing the 22-year-old World Cup winner.
However, it’s fair to say that Henry went on to exceed all expectations in the Premier League, scoring 175 goals in 258 appearances.
A two-time Premier League winner, Henry won the Golden Boot award in 2001-02, 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06.
He was virtually unstoppable during that period of time and is regarded by many as the greatest player of the Premier League era.
Thierry Henry’s masterclass vs Chelsea in 2004
One of countless individual masterclasses from Henry came during a thrilling 2-2 draw against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea in December 2004.
Henry put Arsenal 1-0 up in the second minute with a wonderful finish…
John Terry then equalised before Henry restored the Gunners’ one-goal advantage with a quickly taken free-kick midway through the first half…
Eider Gudjohnsen scored Chelsea’s second goal of the night to earn a point for the visitors.
How did Thierry Henry respond to Jose Mourinho?
After the match, Henry hit back at Mourinho’s pre-game comments that he only scored in small games.
“Like everyone says, I always score in small games, so I think today must have been a small game again,” Henry said. “That’s the way it is.”
Watch Henry’s interview here…
Ouch. Henry 1-0 Mourinho.
Henry’s self-confidence and dare we say arrogance was off the scale around this time – but he was the man.
The Premier League has been home to some unbelievable footballers over the past 29 years but Henry was arguably a cut above them all between 2001-2006.
Not even The Special One’s mind-games could prevent Henry from producing magic.
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