The retirement of Thierry Henry from playing professional football has obviously got the Arsenal fans and the football media looking back on his fantastic career and discussing just how good he was. And whatever people think about his career as a whole or his status among Premier League and international greats, there is little doubt that he is right up there with the best Arsenal players ever.
We have often wondered if the Gunners would ever see his like again but I think that we may already have a player at the club that could turn out to be just as important to the club and his name is Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean international forward may not go on to match or break Henry’s Arsenal goal record as the Frenchman was prolific with us for eight seasons, but while he is here, Alexis could have a similar effect on the team and the club.
It is not just the attacking ability and other talents that the 25-year old shows on the pitch for the Gunners, and they are considerable. He seems to have the same way of inspiring the players around him on to better things and that is a rare and special thing for a player to do.
Henry did that and lifted the whole Arsenal team a few levels. He also made the Gunners a much more attractive proposition to players who might be thinking about a transfer move. For years now Arsene Wenger has struggled in the transfer market, partly due to the money situation but also because it seemed we were less likely to win a trophy than many of our rivals.
With Alexis now as the main star in a very strong looking squad, when fit, Wenger might well find his job of persuading big name players to head to north London a whole lot easier.
Alexis still has a lot to do and a long way to go before being put up with the great Henry, but do you think he could have the same impact for Arsenal in the next few years?