Old quotes show Arsenal transfer target grew up idolising Gunners legend

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Arsenal transfer target Raphinha seemingly has a lifelong affection for the Gunners, and club legend Thierry Henry in particular.

The Brazil international, currently on the books at Leeds United, is being strongly linked with Arsenal at the moment by the Times and others, and there’s no doubt he has what it takes to be an excellent fit at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal need an upgrade on Nicolas Pepe in that wide-forward role, and Raphinha’s form in his time in the Premier League surely shows he’d be ideal to breathe new life into Mikel Arteta’s attack.

It remains to be seen if a deal can be done, with the Times also linking Tottenham and Barcelona with the 25-year-old, but it seems there may be an old connection with Arsenal that could influence the player’s decision.

Raphinha celebrates a goal for Leeds

In a piece for the Players’ Tribune last year, Raphinha spoke about growing up watching Arsenal legend Henry, and seemed to hint that it made him want to play for the Gunners.

“I’d be watching the Prem with my dad on the free-to-air channels. Henry was flying, man. The runs, the finishes, it was crazy,” Raphinha said.

“I also remember that the stadiums were always full. The songs, the shouts. The noise. I can’t remember the details, but I was probably sitting in a run-down bar somewhere in Restinga when I made the vow. One day I’m going to play there.”

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