Can an Arsenal legend become a Manchester United player?

Ok, so the forums and blogs are rife with talk that former Arsenal footballer and club legend is on his way to Old Trafford via Barcelona, but how true is this rumour and would both sets of fans accept such a deal, considering the rivalry over the past ten seasons. Firstly, let me say that Thierry Henry is a fine footballer and the Premier League is a worse off place without the Frenchman. He combined excellent technical skill with sublime pace to brush aside opponents and score wonders goals season after season and rightfully so is considered alongside Liam Brady and Dennis Bergkamp as one of the best players to ever wear an Arsenal shirt. However, that legendary status could all change if this, quite amazing, move materialises and he makes the move to Old Trafford that would indeed anger the majority of the Arsenal faithful.

Henry has had a disappointing season at Camp Nou this term just gone. Played out of position on the left hand side of the front three and overshadowed by rookie Bojan, who by contrast had a great first season. Many fans always believe that the only way is down once you leave the club – however I do feel, considering the barriers that have been placed in front of Henry this season, that is unfair. As mentioned, Henry is a superb player who obviously adored playing alongside Dennis Bergkamp and become Arsenal’s top scorer of all time. Could he fit into Manchester United? Would he be a first team starter at the club? Remember how impressive Rooney and Tevez were last season – even though natural comedian Don Goodman objected to the partnership. Approaching 31 could he still hack it in the Premier League and would he benefit the side more so than Berbatov? Or is this transfer issue a publicity stunt in order to try and bring down the asking price of Berbatov, who may start to make noises if he believes his Old Trafford opportunity may have passed him by?

Manchester United totally dominated proceedings against Portsmouth yesterday; but failed to find the back of the net. I could feel the press box pencil’s being sharpened with the furious writing of the journo’s of the world stating ‘United in striker crisis’. But to be totally honest, was yesterday any different from the performances of last season in the early stages? Not until September 23rd 2007 did United find the net on two occasions in the same game. Chelsea were the victims that day in Avram Grants first game (which ironically consisted of the exact same opposition that featured in his last game). Many fans, pundits and ‘football experts’ were banging on about the fact that United needed an ‘out and out striker’ or a ‘target man’ failing to realise that Wayne Rooney had injured his foot, Ronaldo was suspended for head butting an opponent, Carlos Tevez and Owen Hargreaves were trying to get match fit after their moves from West Ham and Bayern Munich respectively and it was no surprise that United kept seven clean sheets from the 1-0 defeat to Citeh up to the 4-1 victory over Aston Villa – then the scoring started.

Many players move to other clubs and lose their legend status overnight. Paul Ince being the first name that springs to mind – ok he was never an Old Trafford legend but in the early 90’s he was a very good midfield player who’s hard play was a favourite alongside Robson and later Keane in the United midfield. He went to Liverpool and then celebrated like he’d won the treble when Liverpool salvaged a draw in spring 1999 – which would ensure his United hate status forever more. Denis Law moved to City (although to me is always going to be a legend), although just to correct anyone who believes that he sent us down – United had already been relegated and would be playing Division two football; with or without that goal. Arsenal fans may wish to comment on Sol Campbell’s move to them in the summer of 2001. Campbell proved to be a great servant to Arsenal, winning two league Championships and reaching (and scoring) the European Cup final. Were you happy to have Tottenham’s captain who was born and bred a Spurs man marshaling your back four? Of course the frustrated Spurs fans would have brought a smile to the face, but really can you ever really take to a rival player?

I for one would welcome the signing of Thierry Henry dependent on price. Guardiola has stated that he believes Henry is in his plans, but will Barcelona adopt a 4-4-2 formation that would favour the Frenchmen ahead of the 4-3-3 that has been instilled in the club since the playing days and eventual management of the football club by Johan Cruyff? Samuel Etoo’s future is also uncertain with a number of clubs not willing to ‘gamble’ on the Cameroon international, even though he is only just 27. Henry could still have a good career at Barcelona, but with Manchester United calling on the door could he really pass off the opportunity of playing with the likes of Rooney, Ronaldo and Scholes and help mature the talents of Anderson, Nani and Campbell? I remember another certain Frenchman had quite an influence over the younger players.

So is this going to materialise or is it all rubbish? Would you accept the deal (both United and Arsenal)?

19 Comments on Can an Arsenal legend become a Manchester United player?

  1. Signing Henry will, definitely, be the best move of this summer.

    Imagine!!, Henry on the left and Ronaldo on the right… Both are very quick, very skillful, and boths are very exciting to watch. Above all, they both are world-class players, and can always score goals in important matches. And with Rooney up-front (with reinforcement of Tevez, Nani, Anderson, Giggs, etc.) United will easily be the best team of Europe again….

  2. Gazzaro – Although I agree that he would be a great signing for the club do you not feel that sticking him out on the left would restrict his play as it has done for Barcelona this season. This time last year everyone was drooling at the possibility of a Messi, Ronaldinho, Etoo, Henry attack – which never ever, and quite rightfully so, materialised.


    Henry will be the best signing for United….

    At 31, he’s still has many great years left. In my opinion, he’s still at his best if played in the right team like Man. United. With Ronaldo, Rooney, and Tevez, the adding of Henry will be very fantastic.

    For other options, Roque Santacruz is good, but Henry is much better. Huuntelaar will be the wrong option. He is not good enough even for the Dutch first start eleven (Behind Van Nistelrooy, Ryan Babel, and Robin Van Persie).

  4. Henry will always be an Arsenal legend, and in truth it is doubtful he will sign for man u, he has always been admired and envied by every premier league manager and perhaps fergie does want Henry in his side! however i would credit the man utd manager with better judgement as Henry will come at a price and at 31, in comparison to Berbatov is not the best signing he could make, although Henry is indeed better, Berbatov can only improve at one of the larger clubs and in the CL under man u’s management could be prolific!, also (and let’s face it), do you need him? as you have managed to hang on to Ronaldo for your goals, Rooney and Tevez must be considered to be great strikers but had an ok season last year, but only because they were overshadowed by the truly great performances of Ronaldo, who is now apparently staying! I will be as honest as i can in saying that Berbatov would bolster your attack quite heavily and i think Fergie is shrewd enough to blow a little bit of smoke to push this signing forward, on top of anything else at least the spuds striker has admitted in the past that he wished he had signed for man utd in the first place! beggars belief why he would ever have picked spurs ahead of your club in the first place!!!! all Arsenal fans would love to see Henry return to our club and would hate to see him sign for anyone else in the premier league, that’s just a fact, but would Barcelona take anything less than what they paid for him? Very doubtful!!

  5. I just don’t see it happening, but it would be just lovely if it did. No use in playing him on the wing, though. Letting him loose as a centre forward, especially as a late substitute, would drive defences set up to deal with Rooney/Tevez/Ronaldo absolutelyinsane! Absolutely too good to be true. innit?And how bad is his back?

  6. I am an Arsenal fan and always will be. I am also an Henry fan and love this man as he is a Arsenal Legend and always will be just as Bergkamp is, and can not see him going to Scum United. As mentioned this is fergie doing this smoke screen thing to get the man he really wants and we all know whe that is. To all you Man United fans out there …. dream on , you will never get the Master that is Henry.


    Arsenal til i die… North London.

  7. Fergie has a knack of taking on an older player and getting the best out of them. I don’t think you’d ever see the Henry of Arsenal at Utd though. He would be surely be given a different role, dare I say it the same kind of role role Cantona played for you or Bergkamp for us? He would be wasted on the wing, not sure if he can handle a full English season at full throttle anymore which is why is he probably better suited to Spain. Berbatov would be a better singing for you but will Spurs really let him go seeing as Keane has already been sold?

  8. To all the Arsenal fans that have commented here stating ‘there is no way he would go’. Understandably, you don’t want him to go and I would suggest that there is a minimal chance that he would sign for United, but for arguments sake, how would you feel if he did sign??

    This wouldn’t be the first transfer that would get the emotions going:

    Eric Cantona – Leeds to Manchester United 1992
    Luis Figo – Barcelona to Real Madrid 2000
    Mo Johnston – Nantes to Rangers 1989
    Luis Enrique – Real Madrid to Barcelona 1996
    Ashley Cole – Arsenal to Chelsea 2006

    Now I know you might not want it to happen, but where has this come from? Like ian christopher suggested – is this merely a smoke screen in order to get Berbatov? Or is Henry a genuine transfer target of Manchester United? If the latter and he decided he wanted to go, how you feel?

  9. Top post GoonerGuest and agree with everything you say. I too believe that the transfer is unlikely and may not be in the best interest of the player who may still feel he has a point to prove abroad. However, United would most benefit from Henry’s talent and experience.

  10. In terms of players losing their club legend status, it’s all a question of where they go and how useful they are to the team when they leave. Campbell going to Arsenal certainly ended his Sp*rs legend status overnight. He was very popular when he came to Highbury but it was probably his ludicrous half-time walkout against West Ham that prevented him ever attaining club legend status. Ashley Cole could have been a club legend if he’d stayed a good few more years and become club captain etc, but the world now knows what a deeply unpleasant individual he is. Even Chelsea fans seem a bit meh about him, possibly because of his Arsenal connections but probably because he’s been no better than acceptable for them so far. I wasn’t that bothered when Henry went to Barcelona because it was clear from his last season with us that he was past his best. Henry without that extra half yard of pace gets marked out of games too easily. Whilst it is true he was played in an unhelpful position at Barca, he looks a busted flush now, which is sad in a way.

  11. Fergie si blowin smoke up the scums arse and i think it is funny. Only Tottenham ares tupid enough to believe it.

    When Arsene sold Henry Fergie was one fo the few people to back him saying it was the right time. Why did he do that- mind games? What could he gain from backing enger up? He said it because he believed it. Has he changed his mind now? I doubt it. Stop dreaming Mancs it won’t happen – it would only be fun for the fans to have the Arsenal Lege playing for your team but I doubt it is a real and worthwhile solution.

    I hat Fergie because he is a winner. I wish he was a fool but he is no fool. Arrogant yes, hypocrite yes and so on. but not a fool. He might be soft in his treatment of Ronaldo but I don’t think he is gaga yet…

  12. Definitely a wind up by Fergie.
    Henry is a legend in Arsenal fans eyes as everyone knows and that status would undoubtedly be affected if he were ever to move to another of the ‘big’ PL clubs.
    Having said that, Henry has always maintained his ‘love’ for Arsenal, even to this day and has always said he wouldn’t play for another PL club because of that. He happens to be one of the few players I think does have some morals and isn’t solely driven by money unlike most of the greedy players out there now (especially English players).
    So no, I really don’t think it will happen, if it did, I would be hugely disappointed after the things that Henry has said in the past.


  13. if henry signed for man utd i would still love him ,id feel a bit sad but henrys a top player and a top fella ,i dont think it will happen though (praying),i dont think henry will ever hit the kind of form he did 3-4 years ago!

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