Thierry Henry has responded to accusations from Arsenal fans suggesting he played a role in Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester United.
The Chile international completed his move to Old Trafford on Monday night in a straight swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, taking the No.7 shirt previously worn by George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Sanchez sent Gooners into overdrive by writing on Instagram shortly after his move: “I remember today, a conversation I had with Henry, who changed club for the same reason and today is my turn.”
But Henry, taking to social media, made it clear that at no time did he encourage the 29-year-old to leave Arsenal.
I know I don’t need to explain this to the majority of Arsenal fans but contrary to speculation at no time did I tell Alexis Sanchez to leave Arsenal. I had no idea he was going to sign for Man Utd until I saw it on the news like the rest of you.
— Thierry Henry (@ThierryHenry) January 23, 2018
This is a difficult time for Arsenal fans. The events over the last fortnight have reinforced the notion that, no matter how many polls they win, Arsene Wenger’s men – and, by extension, the entire Arsenal institution – sits below Man United on the global food chain.
Henry didn’t tell Sanchez to leave Arsenal, like many of their supporters supposed. What he probably did talk to the Chilean about, however, was the process of leaving Arsenal and moving on to Barcelona, winning the Champions League two years later. In other words: moving up a level.
And that is precisely what Sanchez is doing here. Just like Henry, he is too good to not play for a club of United’s calibre.