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Arsenal signs Henry; Premier League set to kick off
Posted: Tuesday August 03, 1999 01:54 PM
LONDON (AP) -- English side Arsenal landed its second international striker in two days as Frenchman Thierry Henry moved to the club on Tuesday for a reported club-record transfer fee of dlrs 18 million.
Juventus sold the French international to Arsenal just a day after the Gunners also wrapped up the transfer of Croat Davor Suker from Real Madrid for a reported US$5.6 million.
"Thierry Henry is a valuable addition to our squad," said Arsenal Coach Arsene Wenger as the 21-year-old Henry arrived from Juventus' training camp for a hastily-called news conference at Arsenal's north London ground.
"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."
Wenger described the contract with Henry as "long-term," and, as usual, the club would not confirm the reported purchase price.
The two internationals move into to fill the void created by the loss of French forward Nicolas Anelka, who is moving to Spain's Real Madrid for a reported US$35.5 million.
The addition of Henry gives Arsenal four world-class strikers in Suker, Nwanku Kanu and Dutch international Dennis Bergkamp. Bergkamp was the club's previous biggest outlay when he was bought several years ago for about US$12 million.
Henry has long been the target of Wenger, who began to pursue him once it was obvious Anelka would not return to the north London side.
Wenger said Henry was more extroverted than Anelka and was a team player capable of working either as a striker or on either wing.
"He has a good spirit and a good mentality for a young player and he gives you a lot of options," Wenger said. "He can play wide or in the center and makes anything possible when he has the ball."
"Thierry has pace, power and great dribbling. I would like to move him into
the center either as the second striker or the main target man."
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