Arsenal: Thierry Henry’s Fears Based On Flimsy Material

Thierry HENRY - 26.03.2015 - France / Bresil - Match Amical, Photo : Dave Winter / Icon Sport
Thierry HENRY - 26.03.2015 - France / Bresil - Match Amical, Photo : Dave Winter / Icon Sport /

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry is worried that his former club can no longer attract the big names, but that seems a bit preemptive, if not unfounded.

Arsenal definitely need to make some bigger signings this summer, despite making marquee signings each and every previous year. These are just signings that are making up for all the neglect during the debt years.

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Still, I found it rather strange that Thierry Henry has come out and expressed his fears that Arsenal can no longer attract the big names. In fact, Henry wrote an entire column about his concerns and about how he understands why the big name guys would no longer want to come to the club.

I understand the fears, and of course it is a fear for everyone, but the logic behind these fears isn’t based on much.

First of all, Arsenal has made big name signings each of the past four seasons. It started with Mesut Ozil. Then it was Alexis Sanchez. Then it was Petr Cech, although, granted, Wenger should have done more that summer. Then it was Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi. And yes, those are big signings.

Any player that has significant international experience on a major European side is a big name signing.

Henry, for his argument, lists the ones that got away and again, I look at it with a raised eyebrow. Jamie Vardy? We didn’t need him and he stayed because he felt loyalty to Leicester. No one else wanted him either.

Luis Suarez was an unfortunate episode, granted. Eden Hazard was during the debt years. Gonzalo Higuain was overpriced (and not needed) and then Henry he lists a bunch of young guys who are not big names. In fact, the “big name” young guys that Arsenal did land out-shadow the ones they missed out on.

For instance, they got Kelechi Nwakali, most valuable player of the U17 World Cup, and missed out on Victor Osimhen, the second in command.

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Henry also references a few guys who clearly didn’t come to Arsenal due to playing time concerns, wanting instead to go to a smaller team where they knew they could get minutes.

Paul Pogba is a big signing sure, but I get why Wenger might not have wanted that ego on his club and it hasn’t been a party for him at Manchester United.

This same argument can be applied to any team because Henry’s argument seems to be based on the premise that Arsenal should be signing everyone, and they don’t. They have a good talent base. What would they have done with Kostas Manolas? They got Mustafi and Gabriel is stepping up.

Then you look at rival clubs. Chelsea got N’Golo Kante, that is it. Pedro was a solid signing, but hardly worth freaking out over. Plus, Arsenal didn’t land Kante because they didn’t show a strong interest, not because the player was uninterested. They wanted Xhaka more than Kante.

United got their two, and Zlatan is much like Pogba, I can see why the ego might make Wenger hesitant. Manchester City got some talented youngsters. But no Premier League club landed a super high profile player. That just hasn’t been the case in the past couple of years. Those big name guys are embedded at the Real Madrid’s and Bayern Munich’s.

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