There are few players in the history of Arsenal football club that are more loved and cherished than Thierry Henry – given his record during his time with the Gunners, it isn’t difficult to see why.
We are looking at what makes him such a revered icon at Arsenal – including his finest moments and his exquisite goalscoring record at both Highbury and the Emirates Stadium.
Additionally, we’ll also look at Henry’s career before and after he left the Gunners. During this time, he turned out for clubs such as Juventus, New York Red Bulls and Barcelona.
Thierry Henry’s early career
Born in 1977, Henry played for clubs such as CO Les Ulis, US Palaiseau, Viry-Châtillon and INF Clairefontaine before he finally settled at Monaco in 1992.
Henry went on to sign his first senior contract with Monaco in 1994 – after impressing for their B team, he was swiftly promoted to the first team. In total, Henry scored 20 goals in 105 appearances for Les Rouge et Blanc. In 1999, he enjoyed a brief spell at Juventus, before being snapped up by Arsenal in that same year for what turned out to be a bargain price of just £11 million.
How the striker became an Arsenal club legend
Several audiences questioned Henry’s price tag at the time – in 1999, £11 million was an incredible sum of money for an unproven foreign export. Nevertheless, he proved the naysayers wrong time and time again.
He wasn’t an instant success – Henry had previously played as a winger and initially struggled to cope with the Premier League’s no-nonsense centre halves.
Despite this, he adapted quickly – at the end of his first season, Henry accrued a goals tally of 26 in all competitions. All of a sudden, his once-panned price tag looked like a real bargain.
In the 2001/02 season, Henry had become the best striker in the division – his goals in this campaign (32) led the Gunners to his first of two Premier League titles.
Henry’s greatest goal scoring season came during the 2003/04, which, incidentally, was also the year of the famous ‘Invincibles’ campaign. In total, he scored 39 goals in all competitions during the season.
His final season during his first stint with the Gunners saw him riddled with injuries – he scored just 12 goals in 2006/07, before he was signed by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona.
He would, however, make a triumphant return to Arsenal in the twilight of his career. Henry rejoined the Gunners on a 2 month loan deal from New York Red Bulls in January 2012 and made 7 appearances during this time, scoring 2 goals.
Career after Arsenal
At Barcelona, Henry helped to form one of the greatest club sides in history during the 2008/09 season, alongside the likes of Carlos Puyol, Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi.
Henry scored 26 goals during this season as the Catalonian giants won the La Liga title, the Copa Del Rey and the Champions League under the guidance of Pep Guardiola.
In 2010, Henry made the jump to the MLS, as he signed for New York Red Bulls. This would be his last club in professional football – he went on to score 52 goals in 135 games for the American outfit, before bringing his playing career to an end in 2014.