Henry Left Arsenal With Wenger's Blessing

Thierry Henry joined Barcelona with the blessing of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

Following the completion of Henry’s £16.15 million move to Camp Nou on Monday afternoon, Wenger told the club’s official website: “It was Thierry’s decision to leave Arsenal but he goes with my blessing. On behalf of everyone at the club, we wish him the very best for the future.”

Henry joined the Gunners from Juventus for £10.5million in August 1999 and went on to score a club record 226 goals in an Arsenal shirt, winning Premier League titles, FA Cups and a host of individual honours along the way.

Wenger has no doubt that the French striker, 29, will enter Arsenal folklore as one of the greatest players ever to have represented the north London club.

He added: “Thierry has been tremendous for us since he arrived in 1999. He has excelled both as part of a team and individually. In short, he has become an Arsenal legend.

“Personally, I would like to thank Thierry for the huge contribution he has made to the club’s success over the past eight years.

“To his great credit, he has mixed skill and style together with an appetite for winning.

“This wonderful combination was integral to our historical 49 games unbeaten run and all the honours he won at Arsenal, together with Thierry becoming the club’s record goalscorer – an achievement which in my view is unlikely to be surpassed.”

Henry himself said he would always have a good relationship with Wenger, whom he hoped would stay at Arsenal for as long as possible.

“If he goes it will be very difficult – but I can’t talk for someone else.

“The relationship I had with Arsene was out of this world – you can’t imagine. I was talking to him about private stuff, about anything.

“That relationship goes beyond me going to Barcelona. We didn’t have a fight [about Henry leaving].

“We sat down and talked and we both respected each other and my relationship with him will always remain whatever happens.”

“I have to show respect to Arsenal, that’s why before I left I went to talk to the website. I wanted to be genuine and speak the truth.

“Hopefully they will appreciate what I have done there and I have certainly enjoyed my time over there.

“I always said that if I ever left Arsenal it would have been to play for Barcelona. I am here right now, no disrespect to anybody but that was my choice.

“The way Barcelona play football, the fans, just being here and seeing what I’m noticing right now, it’s outstanding. It was always in my mind if I was going to leave it would be for Barcelona Football Club.”


  • Ken

    This is sad for Arsenal as I think Wenger is a very smart manager with his . Lots of people have had doubts with Wenger fielding such a young squad but I think he has been looking down the road long term for the club. Sir Matt Busby was able to do it in the 1950’s with a squad of very young players who turned out to be one of the best club sides of that era & I think Wenger has been thinking on that same level. Still Henry has been the older, more experienced player in the squad keeping everything glued together so I think Arsenal will miss him a great deal. I just hope he wont be wasted in Barcelona as they already are loaded to the gills with so many good players. If Henry is used in the right capacity Barca will be a very dangerous team this next season. Guess we will all have to wait & see. My guess is for Champions League this next year its going to be a club from Spain or Germany that has a good chance to take it all. The usual heavy hitting sides from England & Italy might be taking a back seat in the Champions League this next season. I see Barcelona & Bayern doing big things in the near future. I could be wrong but then I could be right.

  • Knox

    Next year Championsleague it will be Bayern and BArcelona. But Walcot will gain alot more expierence w/ the added playing time

  • Joe

    Barcelona not only has ronaldinho and samuel eto they now have Henry. they will be difficult to beat. Go barcelona.

  • soccer dr nyc

    knox i see you not up with soccer byern is not in the championleague they came 6th place in germany. now for joe you remember real five years ago with all the stars what did they win . barce just gave beckham a sending away present ,so isay barce will not win a thing i known,

  • Ken

    Can somebody please translate the above rant by the dr?

  • dr nyc

    yes ken i see that you are new to this network everybody knows that i am barce .
    i am still mad and p..s about the way that laliga went they gave it away.
    i live dream barce that my life

  • Morgan

    Barcelona will be back. Bringing Henry into the fold will only make them that much more potent. As for Madrid well that’s a toss up. Too many changes there every year it seems. What the owners do really doesn’t make much sense. I also think Manchester United, Liverpool & Chelsea will be back strong. As for the Italian clubs I’d like to see Roma do well again. Juve, Inter & AC Milan need to clean up their acts behind the scenes if you know what I mean as they give Italian soccer a bad name. Though Bayern won’t be in champions league this next season I think they will do well anyways & be back in that cup the following year. Maybe we might even see a push from some teams that come out of Eastern Europe, who knows? They seem to slowly be getting better & better each year.

  • Bishop

    This is awesome. Henry playing for Barca is like a dream come true. I think with their powerful squad they are sure to dominate. Eto’o and Ronaldinho provide an unbeatable attack while the young Messi is sure to be the next star for Barca. Also, Puyol and Marquez lead a stone-wall defense. Henry is just their newest weapon of mass destruction.

  • Keeeper King

    The question is, Is their too much talent at Barcelona?