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Why Sir Alex Ferguson Rejected Chance To Sign Thierry Henry For Manchester United

Why Sir Alex Ferguson Rejected Chance To Sign Thierry Henry For Manchester United

Thierry Henry made his name as a Premier League legend with Arsenal but things could have been very different.

According to Ned Kelly, Manchester United's former head of security, Sir Alex Ferguson had the chance to sign him for Manchester United prior to his arrival in North London.

However, it's said the Scotsman passed on the Frenchman because he felt he was injury-prone.

"In the tunnel after the game my phone goes, Eric's older brother Jean-Marie [Cantona] says, 'Ned, tell Alex [Ferguson] that Thierry Henry wants to come to the club'," Kelly told beIN Sports, via The Mirror.

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"Now this was before he [Henry] 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."

Henry hadn't exactly set the world alight at Monaco and Juventus and didn't score in his first eight games at Arsenal after his £11 million move in 1999

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But he ended up finishing his first season in England with 26 goals and went on to notch a further 202 in all competitions for the Gunners, cementing his place as one of the greatest players in Premier League history.

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Henry was pivotal in the two Premier League titles and two FA Cups he won playing under Arsene Wenger before getting his hands on the Champions League trophy with Barcelona in 2008.

Image: PA
Image: PA

He duelled with United's Ruud van Nistelrooy for the Golden Boot during his time in England, with Rio Ferdinand revealing the Dutchman obsessed over Henry's statistics and used to come in the changing room unhappy if Arsenal's No.14 had one-upped him.

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However, Henry, who holds the record for the most assists in a single Premier League season, did not care too much about what his rival was doing in front of goal.

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"It became a story between me and him because it was always him or me [to win the golden boot] but I don't know if you remember I used to give penalties away...I used to give penalties away!

"When Edu played his last game for Arsenal and I was battling with Ruud van Nistelrooy for the Golden Boot I gave him the penalty.

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"It's because you ask me the question don't get me wrong...but if you look at the number of my assists I gave in the game and sometimes I was in front of the goal and I squared it that would answer that question."

"I would not have all those assists if I was only just thinking about the Golden Boot."

Topics: Football News, Football, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsenal, thierry henry

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Josh Lawless

Josh is a sports journalist who specialises in football and wrestling. He has been published by Curzon Ashton FC, Late Tackle, Manchester City FC, The Mirror, Read Man City and Manchester Evening News. He provides coverage of professional wrestling and has interviewed some of the biggest names in the field - including the first UK interview with The Hardy Boyz after their return to WWE. He has never sported a pair of Lonsdale Slip-ons, contrary to reports.