WTTGT Writer: Tashan Deniran-Alleyne
With 226 goals, he is Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer. He was recently voted as the club’s greatest ever player; yes, I am talking about French superstar, Thierry Henry and he returns ‘home’ this week to take part in the inaugural Emirates Cup.
It can be argued that he still has not been adequately replaced, so upon his return will he pass the ‘torch’ onto another player, who could perhaps go on to overtake Thierry in the all time scoring charts?
But who could he pass the ‘torch’ to? Looking at the current strikers, it’s safe to say it will NOT be Marouane Chamakh as he has shown no sign he could ever replicate Henry’s scoring record. Robin Van Persie? I think not as the Dutchman is already on his way to becoming a club legend and has replaced Dennis Bergkamp to an extent, therefore, to replace Thierry also would be huge pressure to a guy who is seemingly injury prone.
The obvious candidate would be Theo Walcott who has been compared to Henry ever since he joined the club in 2006. Coupled with the fact young Theo wishes to undergo the same transformation from winger to striker, and wearing the number 14 shirt, symbolic of the French legend, the Englishman possesses all the tools to grab the elusive ‘torch’. Could he go on to have the same impact? Theo has the pace and he has shown he has the calmness in front of goal reminiscent of Henry, but the Frenchman offered so much more from the central role, drifting out to the left, forging a great understanding with Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp, and providing a high number of assists consistently. More importantly he had the ability to create magical moments out of nothing. One thing for sure is Theo will have pretty big shoes to follow.
Then there is Mexican hotshot Carlos Vela, who is surely one of the best finishers at the club. The problem is he doesn’t get enough opportunities to show his class in front of goal. It’s clear that Thierry and Carlos have differences in terms of physique and style of play, but their calmness in front of goal is similar and if Vela is given a fair chance, he could indeed become the ‘fox in the box’ striker Arsène Wenger has been searching for. At only 22 he still has enough time on his hands to pose a threat to the record.
Highly regarded youngsters Wellington Silva and Benik Afobe could also stake a claim, especially the latter as the club has high hopes for him, highlighted by the decision to take him to Germany with the first-team squad last week. Both are still very young and inexperienced, but definitely ones for the future.
Could it be a new striker? Benzema and Lukaku are just two forward being linked with a move to the Emirates, could it be a fresh face that ultimately breaks the record?
Or will the record simply stand forever? Records are made to be broken but has Thierry Henry created a record that won’t ever be replicated by anyone?