Premier League

Wenger wishes he paired Ronaldo and Henry together at Arsenal

The Portuguese superstar had been close to agreeing a move to the Gunners before Manchester United swooped in

10:40am on Tuesday 13th October 2020
Martin Macdonald

Arsene Wenger admits that it would have been very interesting to see how Arsenal's attack would have formed if Cristiano Ronaldo had signed for the club to be paired with Thierry Henry.

Prior to the Sporting Lisbon teenager at the time signing for Manchester United, he had been contacted by Arsenal about a potential move, with Wenger even meeting Ronaldo and his mother for lunch at the Premier League side's training ground.

Obviously, he would go on to become one of the greatest players in history at United, Real Madrid, and now Juventus.


Was Thierry Henry robbed of the Ballon d'Or?

Deschamps warns against comparing Mbappe to his 'idol' Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo: Form Rating, Statistics, Playing Position

If he had signed for Arsenal in 2003 rather than United, it would have seen him play alongside Henry and the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira, Sylvain Wiltord, and Robert Pires.

Wenger has rhetorically asked what could have been if the mouthwatering attack of Ronaldo and Henry had actually been paired together.

"Of course I think what if, for example, Cristiano Ronaldo played with Thierry Henry, Pires, [Sylvain] Wiltord and Dennis. Maybe we score 200 goals in a season!" He said to BBC Sport.

"You regret sometimes, you think it's your fault that you didn't decide quickly enough or sometimes financially you couldn't agree quickly enough, but overall I must say you go to Chelsea, you go to Manchester United, you go to Liverpool...every club is full of stories like this."

As well as Ronaldo, in the past Arsenal have been linked with a number of players who they passed on signing who ended up becoming superstars.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is an example, with the player taking umbrage to being asked to come on trial.

Wenger says it was perfectly normal not to make an offer right away as the big Swede was just 17 at the time.

"Not really, because he was a 17-year-old boy playing at Malmo in the second league in Sweden," the former Arsenal boss responded when asked if he regretted not just signing Ibra.

"And nobody knew him. We gave trials to many players at 17 – it was absolutely normal before you make a decision."

Wenger is now the Chief Head of Global Football Development at FIFA and recently outlined proposals for radical changes to the game relating to offsides and other set-pieces.

Latest news


Clearly it is not good – Klopp rues Fabinho injury

Shortly after losing star defender Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool have another key player set for a spell out of action

  • 3 hours

Josep Maria Bartomeu resigns as president of Barcelona

The unpopular president has vacated after a vote of no-confidence from the Socios

  • 4 hours
Champions League

Chelsea have nothing to prove without Thiago Silva, says Zouma

Back-to-back clean sheets against Sevilla and Manchester United have boosted the Blues ahead of their match with Krasnodar

  • 7 hours
Premier League

Man Utd selection dilemma 'not easy' for Solskjaer

After much debate over his usage of Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba, the Old Trafford manager acknowledged he has a difficult balance to strike

  • 8 hours
La Liga

Ramos is Clasico match winner as he earns place in Team of the Week

The influential Spaniard was the recipient of a controversial penalty against Barcelona, but dusted himself off to score the spotkick

  • 10 hours
Premier League

Premier League Team of the Week, Round 6: Brilliant Bamford is a perfect 10

The striker scored a hat-trick as Leeds impressively won 3-0 away at Aston Villa this past weekend

  • 12 hours

Most read