Arsenal Transfers: 5 Reasons Why Thierry Henry Should Not Be Re-Signed

Toni Okike@@enigma106Senior Analyst IIDecember 25, 2011

Arsenal Transfers: 5 Reasons Why Thierry Henry Should Not Be Re-Signed

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    Thierry Henry is a legend in the Red half of North London for his amazing exploits on the pitch in service to Arsenal from 1999 to 2007.

    In every single season he played for Arsene Wenger’s team, the French forward surpassed the 20-goal mark and was given countless individual awards as the years went by.

    Arsenal, England and probably the rest of football world stood in bewilderment when he missed out on FIFA’s World Footballer of the Year award in 2004 because he was clearly the best footballer on Earth by a far mile that year.

    He also had an amazing Premier League goal haul of 34 in a calendar year, a record that has been equaled by the red-hot Robin van Persie.

    In his time under the tutelage of one of football’s greatest alchemists, Arsene Wenger, Henry won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups. He presently holds the record for the highest amount of league goals scored by a foreign player in the Premier League (174 goals), and he’s the all-time top goal scorer at Arsenal with 226 goals.

    Henry’s love for Arsenal is unrivaled—the club welcomes him with open arms and sings his songs whenever he’s at the Emirates. Recently, Thierry Henry along with Tony Adams and Sir Herbert Chapman were immortalized by the club with statues erected in their honor.

    This season, Arsenal has been over-reliant on Robin van Persie to come up with the goods week-in, week-out. The Flying Dutchman has been on scintillating form as he keeps creating records on the go.

    With the potential loss of Marouane Chamakh courtesy of his participation with Morocco in the African Cup of Nations, Arsenal is in need of manpower in its forward line.

    The media vultures have done their bit to link many forwards to the club, but the latest news emanating is that Arsene Wenger is planning a surprise loan move for the French star that’s on a break from his recently concluded Major League Soccer season with the New York Red Bulls.

    In as much as I’m a big fan of Thierry Henry, I’ll like to give five reasons why he should not be re-signed by Arsenal Football Club.

1. Thierry Henry Is Past His Prime

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    In all the previous clubs Henry served before playing for the New York Red Bulls, he was always on the goal-scoring sheet and was a very important player to them.

    It’s fair to say that he gave the best years of his career to Arsenal, but his form waned after his big-money move to Barcelona.

    He started his career as a winger before he was transformed into a prolific center-forward by Arsene Wenger. When he joined Barcelona in 2007, Henry was used as a left inside forward/winger and despite getting in on the goals, he struggled a lot in that position.

    He’s presently playing his football in the United States and has scored 16 goals in 37 league appearances for the New York Red Bulls, but it’s fair to say that the forward is past his prime.

2. His Age

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    Unless you’re the manager of a club like AC Milan that could afford to sign a player like 37-year-old Giuseppe Favalli from Inter Milan, I see no good reason why a 34-year-old forward should be signed into a club renowned for its influx of youth like Arsenal.

    Don’t get me wrong, there are some players aged 34 and above that are thriving well in their clubs. Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs shares the same age with Hugh Hefner but he plays better than so many young players on Sir Alex Ferguson’s club.

    Thierry Henry’s age certainly will be a factor to be considered should Arsene Wenger decide to make a move for the player.

3. Lack of Pace

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    In his prime, Thierry Henry was one of the most feared forwards in world football because of the large amount of assets he had in his disposal.

    Not his inhuman goalscoring ability, amazing technique, dead-ball specialty or killer through passes; Thierry Henry had reserves of raw pace he used to outrun the best of defenders, leaving them to eat his dust.

    At the age of 34, Henry might be put in a race against a snail, a tortoise and Per Mertesacker—and we still may have doubts about who would end up as the winner.

    In recent times, the Premier League has been a league that favors the swift, and this clearly means that Thierry Henry might have a hard time in attack when faced against faster defenders in the business.

4. His Legacy

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    A few seasons back, Arsenal.com launched a poll for the fans to vote for the 50 Greatest Gunners. As expected, Thierry Henry was placed in pole position by the Arsenal faithful.

    My word, Henry was everything Arsenal epitomized: breathtaking goals, sultry dribbles, lightning speed and his very own va va voom football. He’s more or less an idol at the club and his legacy might be stained with mud if he fails to come up with the goods when he’s sent onto the pitch.

    I hope Arsene Wenger takes heed from Yogi Warrior‘s quotes in his post Arsene’s a Bit Short-Sighted at the Moment:

    “Signing Henry on loan, for me, is a mixed bag. We are all aware of his record and sentimentality suggests that it would be good to see him once more in an Arsenal shirt.”

    “Yet there is no guarantee of success, as much a danger is that his contribution gets diminished; He was brilliant in his prime but my God, that loan spell was a disaster.”

5. There Are Better Players out There

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    With all due respect to Thierry Henry, there are better players Arsene Wenger can bring to Arsenal to ease the goal-scoring burden off Robin van Persie.

    After the sale of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, Arsenal generated £60m+ and used a small chunk to purchase its deadline signings on the 31st of August.

    Arsene Wenger has always had the backing of the Board and the fans have been crying for a quality signing in attack, yet the manager has folded his arms and has done nothing about it.

    With the January winter transfer window just a week away, the Gooners are still hoping that their beloved manager would swing his wand in the direction of another club to sign a quality player from them.

Summary

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    Thierry Henry remains a highly respected figure at Arsenal and I would prefer it to stay that way.

    A backroom staff role in the foreseeable future will be heralded as a good move by the Gooners because he could add his influence into the team and his presence will instill confidence in the players.

    Judging by what I’ve witnessed this season, I’ll prefer a 50-year-old Thierry Henry to Andrey Arshavin, except the Russian is ready to put up a better performance in the second half of the season.

    Merry Christmas

    Sayonara.