Sanchez accompanied his much publicised move to Manchester United yesterday with a statement on Instagram.
In it, while explaining his departure from Arsenal, he name-checked club legend Thierry Henry, recalling a conversation they had.
“I must say I always gave 100%, until the last day, when I asked to the Mister to be in the team, because I wanted to be a contribution. I remember today, a conversation I had with Henry, a historic Arsenal player, who changed club for the same reason and today is my turn.”
The line caused much consternation among a section of the Gooner faithful, with some calling for Henry’s statue to be torn down from outside the Emirates Stadium in London.
Needed on Henry's statue pic.twitter.com/qfBfbSIVCr
— Reigning and Defending (@SproIes) January 22, 2018
— JohnBoyegaBodyguard (@DoubleDeka) January 22, 2018
This season alone, Thierry Henry has attempted to motivate Kane prior to the NLD, given Bournemouth a pep talk before playing us and advised Alexis on leaving the club. Regardless of his exceptional playing career, he’s really tainting his legacy at the club since
— Patrick Timmons (@PatrickTimmons1) January 22, 2018
It’s likely that Frenchman’s “same reason” for leaving was a new challenge, or indeed to win more trophies. Whether Sanchez was inferring that Henry had told him to leave the club or not was irrelevant – the damage had been done.
The reaction has compelled Henry himself to categorically state that he had no part to play in the most high-profile transfer of the month.
“I know I don’t need to explain this to the majority of Arsenal fans but contrary to speculation at no time did I tell Alexis Sanchez to leave Arsenal. I had no idea he was going to sign for Man Utd until I saw it on the news like the rest of you.”
I know I don’t need to explain this to the majority of Arsenal fans but contrary to speculation at no time did I tell Alexis Sanchez to leave Arsenal. I had no idea he was going to sign for Man Utd until I saw it on the news like the rest of you.
— Thierry Henry (@ThierryHenry) January 23, 2018
The 40-year-old left Arsenal in 2007 after eight years at the club under Arsene Wenger.