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Henry Accusations Harm Arsenal
Independent , June 25th, 2007 4PM

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Thierry Henry's high-profile departure from Arsenal to Barcelona hasn't exactly been the best thing for the Gunners' brand image. Henry repeatedly stated before his departure that the club needed to spend money on world-class talent or he would leave. Now that he has moved on, Henry says he will be "an Arsenal fan for life," but the circumstances of his departure could be seen as a pronouncement that the club is going nowhere. As former Arsenal keeper Bob Wilson says, "I don't like the message that sends out to the youngsters in the squad. Arsène has built an amazing young squad, but minds are very easily tipped when a senior player says something like that."

But Henry's departure might be exactly what the club needs to rebuild itself, says the Independent's Glenn Moore. With talents like Cesc Fabregas, Tomas Rosicky and Robin van Persie, players who Henry himself has labeled "world-class,"Arsenal is not necessarily at an end, and with $32 million to spend on a new forward or forwards, Arsene Wenger may yet stay to see out another season at the Emirates Stadium. The Arsenal manager has also been told he may handpick the predecessor to David Dein, the club's former vice chairman, whose departure was seen as a major contributor to Henry's exit.

Talk now turns to potential replacements for the experienced World Cup winner. Former striker Nicolas Anelka is at the top of the list; he is probably worth $21 million or so and could be an answer to Arsenal's bad habit of wasting countless chances. Other considerations are Ajax's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Newcastle's Obafemi Martins or Michael Owen, while more expensive (and less likely) possibilities are West Ham's Carlos Tevez or Barca's own Samuel Eto'o.

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