Sports Football The Modern Day Stars Inspired by Thierry Henry

The Modern Day Stars Inspired by Thierry Henry
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Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry is arguably the best player in Premier League history. | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Thierry Henry is arguably the best player in Premier League history.

Henry was a supreme passer just as much as he was a finisher, as well as being one of the most intelligent players to have ever played the game.

His electric pace, delicate touch and exceptional shooting technique made him truly stand out and there are a number of today’s most talented players who have evidently taken inspiration from the former Arsenal man. Here are six of them.

Kylian Mbappe
Mbappe is a perfect Thierry Henry recreation | Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

If you could design a Thierry Henry clone, you would end up with Kylian Mbappe.

The 21-year-old grew up in a Parisian suburb – like Henry – he joined Clairefontaine – like Henry – he then played for Monaco as a youngster – like Henry. The comparisons are endless. Just like the great French striker, Mbappe is also known for his incredible speed and clinical, composed finishing.

Anthony Martial
Martial has often been coined the next Henry | Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Martial is another French, right-footed, left-sided forward who played for Monaco who has been compared to Thierry Henry. Since the first time he set foot on the Stade Louis II pitch, he has been likened to the Arsenal legend.

Ex-players ranging from Paul Scholes to Dwight Yorke have spoken of how Martial can follow in Henry’s footsteps in terms of evolving from a winger to a striker, and with the Manchester United man’s finishing technique – one that is very similar to Henry’s – you can see why they’re saying it.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang is Arsenal’s main man. | Michael Steele/Getty Images

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the best striker Arsenal have had since Henry left in 2007. In fact, the Gabon international even overtook the Gunners’ legend by becoming the fastest player ever in the famous red and white to reach 50 Premier League goals.

His goalscoring isn’t all he has in common with Henry though. Since Mikel Arteta’s arrival at Arsenal, Aubameyang has played almost exclusively on the left of an attacking three. Henry made it his trademark cutting in from the left and opening his body to stroke the ball into the far corner, and a similar style of finish was exhibited by Aubameyang for his second in the win over Man City.

Karl-Johan Johnsson, Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford has some Henry traits in his game. | Pool/Getty Images

Marcus Rashford enjoyed a fantastic 2019/20 campaign with Manchester United but he is still far from the finished article. Nevertheless, the Englishman has shown that when he is on his game he is very hard to stop, and his speed, dribbling ability, and wicked shot mean he can be devastating at times – particularly on the break.

Like Henry, Rashford is strong coming off the left flank, something Pat Nevin reiterated after the Englishman scored twice against Norwich in a 4-0 demolition.

Still only 22, Rashford has plenty of time to improve and considering he has more goals and assists than Henry did at the same age, perhaps he could reach, or even exceed, the level of the Frenchman.

Gabriel Martinelli
Martinelli scoring the equaliser against Chelsea. | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Just watch Gabriel Martinelli’s goal in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea – Arsenal’s goal of the season – and you will see why this comparison has been made. Power, speed, control, composure and a beautiful finish, it could have easily been a Thierry Henry goal.

As well as showing skills like Henry’s, Martinelli is another striker/left-winger. The Brazilian is often used very similarly to Aubameyang for Arsenal, starting out wide but getting into the box – regularly as the main goalscoring threat.

Leroy Sane, Trae Coyle
Leroy Sane has the pace and power of Henry. | Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images

Leroy Sane may be left-footed but his directness, pace and finishing ability are undoubtedly Henry-esque.

Often the scourge of Arsenal, Sane made a habit of scoring against them – something he will probably continue doing at Bayern Munich – and fans of the north London side will have spotted glimpses of Thierry Henry in the German.

Rio Ferdinand said back in 2017 that Sane was “the nearest I’ve seen to Henry in full flow” and it’s easy to see why; very few players have been able to combine pace and finishing in the way Henry did, but Sane does.

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