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Saturday 03 August 2013

On this day in 1999: Thierry Henry joins Arsenal from Juventus

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall a French forward moving to London from Juventus

  • Wenger knew Henry from his time as manager of Monaco

  • Henry would make the No14 shirt famous with a club record 175 goals for Arsenal

  • Henry makes his debut in the 2-1 victory over Leicester

  • He would go on to become the scourge of defences in his eight seasons at the club

  • Henry is the third greatest goalscorer in the history of the Barclays Premier League rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day 3 August 1999: Henry joins Arsenal in record deal

Arsenal completed the transfer of France striker Thierry Henry who arrived at Highbury from Juventus for a club-record fee.

"Thierry has pace, power and great dribbling. He will considerably strengthen our firepower"
Arsene Wenger

Two days after signing Croatia striker Davor Suker from Real Madrid for £3.5m, the Gunners swooped for the 22-year-old forward, who had struggled to hold down a regular place at Juve where he was deployed largely as a winger, for an undisclosed fee reported to be in the region of £11m.

Henry became the third member of France's 1998 FIFA World Cup-winning squad to join the north London club, after Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, and was brought in along with Suker to bolster the attacking options of Arsene Wenger's side following the £23m sale of Nicolas Anelka to Real Madrid.

"Thierry Henry is a valuable addition to our squad," said Wenger, who had managed the forward at Monaco. "He is a young international striker who will be a great asset to Arsenal Football Club. He has good experience of both club and international football and will considerably strengthen our firepower."

'Anything possible'

"He gives you a lot of options. He can play wide or in the centre and makes anything possible when he has the ball. Thierry has pace, power and great dribbling. I would like to move him into the centre either as the second striker or the main target man."

Wenger did as promised and although Henry did not find his first top-flight goal until his eighth Barclays Premier League appearance, he never looked back after breaking his duck against Southampton on 18 September.

The Frenchman produced 16 more League goals as the Gunners finished runners-up to Manchester United and he would go on to become the club's greatest ever goalscorer with 175 goals in 258 appearances.

Henry's searing pace and finishing ability made him the scourge of defences throughout his eight successful seasons at the club during which he won the Barclays Premier League title twice, the FA Cup three times and the Barclays Premier League Golden boot on four occasions.

Henry was also voted the PFA Player of the Year twice, the Football Writers' Player of the Year three times and he remains the third most prolific goalscorer in the history of the Barclays Premier League.

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Key Points

  • looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Arsenal broke a club record to sign Thierry Henry from Juventus