In news that will surely come as a shock to Arsenal supporters, one of their greatest ever players apparently wanted a move to Manchester United but ended up at Highbury because Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t want him.
According to former head of security at Old Trafford, Ned Kelly, Thierry Henry should have been playing in the red of United rather than the Gunners.
“In the tunnel after the game my phone goes, Eric’s [Cantona] older brother Jean-Marie says, ‘Ned, tell Alex [Ferguson] that Thierry Henry wants to come to the club,'” Kelly told beIN Sports and cited by The Sun.
“Now this was before he went to Arsenal, his first choice was Manchester United. So I go to the boss and say, ‘boss, I’ve just had Jean-Marie Cantona on the phone, he had said Henry wants to come to the club’.
“He [Ferguson] says, ‘no way, he’s always f****** injured’. He went to Arsenal, the rest is history.”
Given just how well the Frenchman adapted to the Premier League, and particularly how he always seemed to bring his A game against United, Sir Alex will surely look back ruefully on the one that got away.
He had his reasons, according to Kelly’s testimony, and with the side that he already had at his disposal, the Scot’s stance can perhaps be more easily understood.
United’s evident pain was Arsenal’s gain, as Henry formed part of some of the most successful Arsenal side’s in history, and went on to enjoy continued success in North London under Arsene Wenger.
How different things could’ve been…