"It's huge for French football": Thierry Henry on Mbappé's decision
The former Arsenal striker may be one of the few people a position to make a fair comment on Mbappé's decision, having rejected multiple offers to move from North London during his days
We're talking about a French striker, with killer pace and perfect technique who came through Monaco and went on to win a World Cup with his country at a very young age. You're thinking Mbappé? Think again, cause we're talking about Thierry Henry.
The Arsenal legend may be a sports pundit and football manager these days, but in his day he was every bit as surprising and fascinating to watch as the PSG player is now. He too had the world's best clubs chasing his signature, and he too chose to remain loyal, although Henry played his football at England, not France. So it's fair to say if anyone is in a position to make a fair comment on Mbappé's decision to stay at PSG, it's Henry.
While speaking with Goal.com, Henry spoke about the young French star. "He obviously has the club in his heart", said Henry, meaning PSG. While Mbappé came through AS Monaco's youth teams, he is Parisian born and sure to have followed PSG in his teens.
"It's huge for French football, I thought he was going to leave, I think everyone thought he was going to leave, including him", added Henry. "There must have been something profound in those discussions... Hopefully this shows where PSG want to go because, normally, one thing is certain: when you play for a big club, you don't walk away from a big club".
Perhaps thinking about his own fall from the top of the European game, when he left FC Barcelona in 2010 to join MLS side New York Red Bulls, the Frenchman said: "The big club gets rid of you when you're old. When you're still in your prime, you don't leave. He decided to stay, he obviously has the club in his heart". The former Arsenal star was also critical of those who judged Mbappé's decision as one based in economics: "People will talk about what he's going to get in terms of money and power... but the money would have come elsewhere anyway, wherever he went but he want to stay... "
"We're all happy that he stayed...", Henry added in the end, "It was vital for PSG and for Paris and for French football that Kylian stayed".
Thierry Henry played 370 matches for Arsenal between 1999 and 2007, rejecting offers from several clubs in the process until his departure for FC Barcelona. He scored 228 goals for the North London club, becoming their all-time record goalscorer in the process.
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