Arsenal legend says Pogba “can be one of best in history” – but is he worth £100m?

French midfield star Paul Pogba might be preparing for a huge semifinal clash with Germany tonight, but that hasn’t stopped him from being continuously linked with a world-record transfer away from Juventus this summer.

Former club Manchester United are said to be preparing a £100 million bid for his signature, with Jose Mourinho keen on bringing the 23-year-old star to Old Trafford before the summer transfer window shuts.

Real Madrid are also interested, with the player’s agent, Mino Raiola confirming last month that initial talks had taken place with the Spanish giants.

Whichever way you look at it, Pogba is in demand. He is wanted by the top clubs around the world and they are seemingly prepared to smash the world-record transfer fee to get him. But is he worth that sort of investment?

Well according to Arsenal legend and fellow Frenchman Thierry Henry, the answer is yes. Henry told Sky Sports that he feels Pogba “can be one of the best midfielders in history”.

“He has the quality to do that, the pundit added. “He needs to make sure he concentrates on what he can do well.

“What I love about him at the moment is that he’s doing what the team’s asking him to do; maybe he’s sometimes a bit more fancy at Juventus but because Griezmann is playing behind Giroud for France, he has to defend a bit more.

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“That’s the sign of his intelligence. He’s playing within himself in a way, to make sure the team has the right balance.”

That balance that Henry mentions has seen France reach the semifinals of the tournament, without really looking like the dominant force many expected them to be this summer.

Yes, they blew away Iceland in that 5-2 quarterfinal demolition last week – with Pogba himself netting his first goal of the tournament in that rout – but aside from that, they’ve struggled to break teams down until very late in games.

Take nothing away from them for getting to where they are now. But as a team France haven’t set the tournament alight. And the same can be said for Pogba.

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The Juventus star ended last season with eight goals and 12 assists in 35 Serie A appearances. However, for France at Euro 2016, Pogba has registered just one goal and has picked up no assists as of yet.

He might be playing a slightly different role under Didier Deschamps, but Pogba has only won 36% of his tackles at the tournament and has committed a total of 11 fouls in five matches – the joint-fourth highest number at the competition.

Table: Pogba's Euro 2016 statistics ahead of semifinal - (Stats via Squawka).

Table: Pogba’s Euro 2016 statistics ahead of semifinal – (Stats via Squawka).

Dimitri Payet has overshadowed him as Les Bleus’ standout performer and while there is no doubting his ability, Pogba is not yet the player that many want him to be.

He is blessed with raw pace, impressive power and more flair than most central midfielders on the planet. However, his overall game as a central midfielder needs polishing still.

He may only be 23 years of age, but if clubs are willing to spend £100 million to secure your services, you need to be a complete package. And it’s unclear whether Pogba is that just yet…

Do you think Paul Pogba is worth £100 million? Will he be one of the best midfielders in history?

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Sky Sports pundit compares Chelsea legend to Lionel Messi

Arsenal great Thierry Henry has compared Frank Lampard to arguably the world’s greatest ever player in Lionel Messi because of his work rate.

Henry has praised Lampard ahead of what is set to be his final Premier League appearance next weekend, and has claimed the midfielder’s success surprised him.

“I remember playing against him while he was at West Ham,” he said on Sky Sports on Sunday. “I remember our fans having a go at him, but so were the West Ham fans and I thought it was unfair.

“I never thought he was going to be the player he became.

“You could see he’d have a career, but the career he had is all down to work. You need a certain quality to reach a certain level, but he is a great example of working hard.

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“It’s difficult to replicate what [Lionel] Messi does but Lampard is an example of how far you can go with hard work.”

Lampard has been the Premier League for 20 years and won 13 trophies during his time at Chelsea, but is set to play his final game in England with Manchester City next weekend ahead of his MLS move to New York City FC.

There’s no doubt Lampard is one of English football’s hardest working players to have played the game and he will now look to leave whatever mark he can on Major League Soccer.

How good has Frank Lampard been for the Premier League? Is he one of the best midfielders to play in the top flight?

Arsenal legends believe Premier League title race isn’t over

Former Arsenal strikers and club legends Thierry Henry and Alan Smith believe that the Premier League title race isn’t over yet despite Chelsea being four points clear of the Gunners with two games in hand.

“If they beat Chelsea, they will put some doubt in their mind,” Henry said on Sky Sports while talking after Arsenal’s 1-0 win against Burnley.

“But there is one thing I want to go back to what Aaron Ramsey said. He said, and we clearly understood because he said it two or three times, that he doesn’t like it much playing on the right of midfield. But this will do a job for the team.

“The run they are on is because they are doing things they don’t like, but they do it for the team. That’s why they are doing what they are doing, and maybe why they didn’t perform at the start of the season because they were not doing it,” the Frenchman added.

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Alan Smith agreed with Henry and thinks that Arsenal can put pressure on Chelsea if they win when the sides clash at the Emirates Stadium in two weeks time.

“They have to beat [Chelsea] if they are going to win the league, and that will put doubt in the mind of Jose Mourinho’s players,” Smith said.

“The way they’re playing, they’ve got more than enough going forward to make chances and score. Even against a defence like Chelsea’s.

“But they can’t afford any slip-ups you would probably say because you really cannot see Chelsea dropping many other points.”

Do you agree with Thierry Henry and Alan Smith? Can Arsenal win the Premier League this season?

WATCH: Arsenal & Red Bulls legend Thierry Henry pulls off famous trick pass in Gerrard’s testimonial

Thierry Henry may have hung up his boots but he certainly hasn’t lost any of his magic and he pulled off an audacious trick pass to Ryan Babel in Steven Gerrard‘s testimonial game at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

The Arsenal legend played for Steven Gerrard’s XI against Jamie Carragher’s XI in a team that also included Xabi Alonso, John Terry, Luis Suarez and Fernando Torres to name just a few of the big names included in Gerrard’s squad.

Carragher’s team included the likes of Pepe Reina, Didier Drogba and Mario Balotelli but it was Henry who pulled off the best piece of skill in the game with this fantastic dummy pass.

Henry famously pulled off a similar pass in an Arsenal shirt during his time in the Premier League. He finished his playing career with the New York Red Bulls at the end of the 2014 MLS season in December but clearly still has it.

The testimonial game ended 2-2 at Anfield. Drogba and Balotelli netted for Carragher’s XI, with Gerrard netting both of his sides’ goals from the penalty spot.

Gerrard is playing in his final season for Liverpool ahead of his summer move to Major League Soccer with the LA Galaxy.

Chelsea star running out of time to break Arsenal legend’s record

Cesc Fabregas couldn’t have dreamed of a better start to life with Chelsea as his first ten Premier League games with the club saw him rack up an impressive nine assists.

Despite being quick out of the blocks this season, Fabregas has tailed off slightly and the assists have dried up with just two in his last seven league appearances.

The Spanish playmaker is now currently on 16 assists for the whole season and after his blistering start, Fabregas was tipped to break the all-time Premier League record for most assists in a campaign – a record currently held by Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

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Henry laid on a monumental 20 goals for his teammates in the 2002/03 campaign and the closest anyone has come since was when Frank Lampard set-up 18 in the 2004/05 season while playing for Chelsea – Fabregas himself also recorded 17 assists in the 2007/08 season for Arsenal.

Most assists in a Premier League season:

  • 2002/03: Thierry Henry (Arsenal) – 20
  • 2004/05: Frank Lampard (Chelsea) – 18
  • 2007/08: Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal) – 17
  • 1992/93: Eric Cantona (Manchester United) – 16
  • 2014/15: Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea) – 16*

With nine games remaining, Fabregas has got a little bit more work to do if he is to break the record and he’ll certainly need to pick up the pace once again.

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The 27 year old had already set-up six goals in his first four Premier League games, so if he can replicate that kind of form, then he certainly stands a great chance of becoming the record holder.

Chelsea’s remaining fixtures:

  • 04 April – Stoke City (home)
  • 12 April – QPR (away)
  • 18 April – Manchester United (home)
  • 26 April – Arsenal (away)
  • 29 April – Leicester City (away)
  • 02 May – Crystal Palace (home)
  • 09 May – Liverpool (home)
  • 16 May – West Brom (away)
  • 24 May – Sunderland (home)

Doneil Henry closing in on shock West Ham move – report

West Ham United are reportedly close to securing the signing of Canadian defender Doneil Henry from Cypriot side Apollon Limassol, with a work permit the only remaining obstacle.

Henry, 21, has been with Toronto FC for his whole career so far after progressing through their academy but was sold to Apollon Limassol before the start of the 2014 MLS season, despite the deal only being revealed in October, and he hasn’t played a single game for the Cypriot side as of yet.

The powerful centre-back remained in MLS with Toronto for the past season and the Reds were also hoping to negotiate a deal to keep him on loan again in 2015.

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But now Henry is closing in on a dream move to play in Europe with the high-flying Hammers in the Premier League as Sam Allardyce looks to bolster his defence in January.

The 2012 Canadian U20 Player of the Year just needs a work permit to secure a move, and the hearing for that will take place tomorrow, according to TSN’s Luke Wileman.

Henry played with Jermain Defoe for the past season and the former West Ham striker spoke glowingly about the defender’s ability on numerous occasions, and that may have made Sam Allardyce and his team take note.

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The Canadian has been on trial at West Ham twice in the past and Allardyce is believed to be a big admirer, admitting that he feels Henry is “raw, but talented”.

It’s a big move for Henry as many felt he was not good enough to play for the Toronto team at points last season but he could have the chance to prove them wrong with a string of solid performances in the Premier League with West Ham now.

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Doneil Henry should be a West Ham player within the next few weeks so long as he is granted a work permit and it will be intriguing to see how he progresses as a player from now.

Will Doneil Henry be a good signing for West Ham? Is he good enough to play in the Premier League?

Arsene Wenger says Thierry Henry “was one of the greatest players I’ve ever seen”

Manager Arsene Wenger was asked about how he reflects on the career of Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry, in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Liverpool game at Anfield this Sunday.

The Frenchman said, “I would like to thank him for what he has done for the club and what a huge success he has been for us. He was of course an exceptional football player.

“Thierry especially was a combination of huge physical talent, technical talent, but as well special intelligence.

“He was one of the greatest players I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a few good ones.”

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Henry has taken on a role as a pundit for Sky Sports but is also keen to gain his coaching badges, although Wenger has warned him of the pain that comes with being a football coach.

“He has enjoyed it, now it’s time to suffer as well for him. Coaching is enjoyable but it is as well suffering.

“It’s not as easy to get everybody to score the goals that he scored.”

As well as reminiscing over Thierry Henry, Wenger was in a confident mood and says that Arsenal have “very good memories at Liverpool” despite last season’s 5-1 thrashing.

“Liverpool scored over 100 goals last year. This year they have scored 19, so they are not on the same trend offensively.”

Will Arsenal win at Anfield on Sunday? And was Thierry Henry one of the greatest players ever?

Watch: Thierry Henry’s best five career goals

Thierry Henry has called time on an incredibly successful 20-year career today and he will forever be remembered as one of the games true pioneers.

Don’t Miss: Thierry Henry retires: The story of his career

The French legend scored over 400 goals for club and country during his career and we take a look at what we think are five of his best:

1. Incredible volley Vs Manchester United – October 2000

Video credit: Coriat Cruz on YouTube

2. Stunning lob Vs Toronto – September 2012

Video credit: KickTV on YouTube

3. Amazing run and finish Vs Liverpool – April 2004

Video credit: Dhanesh Prabhu on YouTube

4. Backheel finish Vs Charlton – October 2004

Video credit: Murat Nurkozhaev on YouTube

5. Goal from a corner Vs Columbus Crew – September 2012

Video credit: whodiddat03 on YouTube

What is your favourite ever Thierry Henry goal?

Thierry Henry retires: The story of his career

Thierry Henry has announced his retirement from football after 20 years of service to the game which saw him play for five clubs, winning 19 titles and an endless list of individual honours along the way.

He said, “it has been an incredible journey and I would like to thank all the fans, team mates and individuals involved with AS Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal FC, FC Barcelona, the New York Red Bulls and of course the French National Team that have made my time in the game so special.”

The 37-year-old confirmed that he will now be working as a pundit for Sky Sports as of 2015.

“It is now time for a different career path and I am pleased to say that I will be returning to London and joining Sky Sports. I will hopefully share some of the insights, observations and experiences I have learnt over the years with you guys.”

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There aren’t enough superlatives to describe a man of such legendary status but hero, icon, genius, idol are just a few words that have been used in an attempt to label the Frenchman.

Monaco and Juventus

Henry’s professional career began at Monaco in 1994, aged 17, where he went on to make 141 club appearances, scored 28 goals and won Ligue 1 and the French Super Cup before leaving for Juventus in January 1999.

The move to Italy was probably the lowest point of his career as he struggled to settle in and was unable to influence the game playing as a left-winger.

Arsenal

Just eight months later, Henry was on the move again and this time it was to be a life-changing moment as he joined Arsenal, but perhaps more importantly at the time, he joined up with his former Monaco manager Arsene Wenger.

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Wenger decided to push Henry up-front as opposed to out wide, and essentially the rest is history.

He notched an incredible 226 goals in 369 appearances for the club and in the meantime became Arsenal’s all-time top goalscorer as Ian Wright’s previous record of 185 was blown out of the water.

As well as numerous Golden Boot awards, he lifted three FA Cup’s and two Premier League titles and was part of the famous ‘Invincibles’ side of the 2003-04 season.

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Barcelona

Desperate for Champions League success that eluded him at Arsenal, Henry made an emotional farewell in 2007 to join Spanish giants Barcelona.

He spent three years in Spain scoring 49 goals in 121 appearances, winning two La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey and his dreams also came true when the Catalan side lifted the Champions League title in 2009. He then went on to also win the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup with Barca.

New York Red Bulls

In 2010, Henry made his move to MLS and joined up with the New York Red Bulls where he spent four seasons and scored 52 goals in 135 appearances in all competitions. He returned to Arsenal for a brief loan spell in the 2011-12 campaign and scored twice for the Gunners taking his overall goals tally at the club to 228.

France national team

As well as the remarkable achievements in club football, Henry was also part of the French national team between 1997 and 2010. He scored 51 international goals in 123 appearances and was a World Cup winner in 1998, a European Championship winner in 2000 and a FIFA Confederations Cup winner in 2003.

He finishes his career having played an overall total of 915 competitive matches for club and country, while scoring a monumental 411 goals.

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Key moments of each year from Henry’s illustrious career:

  • 1994 – Professional debut for Monaco on August 31
  • 1995 – Became first-team regular with Monaco
  • 1996 – French Young Footballer of the Year
  • 1997 – Ligue 1 winner with Monaco
  • 1998 – World Cup winner with France
  • 1999 – Joined Arsenal from Juventus
  • 2000 – European Championship winner with France
  • 2001 – Included in PFA and UEFA Team of the Year
  • 2002 – Premier League and FA Cup winner with Arsenal (PL Golden Boot winner)
  • 2003 – FA Cup winner with Arsenal and FIFA Confederations Cup winner with France
  • 2004 – Premier League ‘Invincibles’ winner with Arsenal (PL Golden Boot winner)
  • 2005 – FA Cup winner with Arsenal (PL Golden Boot winner)
  • 2006 – Champions League finalist and scored last ever goal at Highbury in a 4-2 win vs. Wigan (PL Golden Boot winner)
  • 2007 – Joined Barcelona
  • 2008 – Entered into English Football Hall of Fame
  • 2009 – La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup winner with Barcelona
  • 2010 – Joined New York Red Bulls and topped Eastern Conference
  • 2011 – MLS All-Star
  • 2012 – MLS All-Star and returned to Arsenal for loan spell
  • 2013 – MLS Supporters’ Shield winner with New York Red Bulls
  • 2014 – Retired from football and became Sky Sports pundit

In his announcement Henry mentioned how he hoped that we have “enjoyed watching as much as I have enjoyed taking part” and it’s fair to say that we have all enjoyed watching him play and many will continue to reminisce in years to come over some of the incredible goals and special moments in his career.

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He also added that he has “had some amazing memories (mostly good!) and a wonderful experience” – as have we thanks to his elegance on the field.

You rarely come across anyone who has a bad word to say about Thierry Henry and tributes will continue to pour in for a legend who will be sorely missed on the pitch, but he will have a place in history forever in the shape of his statue outside Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

Thierry Henry is quite simply, a living legend.

How will New York Red Bulls cope with life after Thierry Henry?

Losing a player of Thierry Henry‘s quality and presence is never an ideal situation, but it’s the one that New York Red Bulls are now currently faced with.

Henry scored 10 goals in 2014, but perhaps more importantly, he made 15 assists over the course of the regular season and the MLS playoffs combined.

A large proportion of the credit for the Red Bulls success last season will have been given to Bradley Wright-Phillips for his scintillating goalscoring form, but it will be interesting to see how he manages now that his key creator is no longer around.

Thierry Henry played the role of provider for nine of the goals that Wright-Phillips scored last season which accounts for just under one third of his overall combined total of 31.

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Upon equalling the record for most goals in one MLS regular season, Bradley Wright-Phillips has since been rewarded with a designated player contract.

And with no clarification over Tim Cahill’s future as yet, there may still be two DP slots available should he decide to move on to pastures new.

It will then be down to whether or not the Red Bulls choose to fill the spaces, but it certainly allows them the option to bring in world-class talent in an attempt to replace the legendary Frenchman.

The assumption would be that New York are currently on the hunt for an attacking player to partner BWP in 2015 as Henry has played such a crucial role for the last four years, so that void will certainly need to be filled.

Can New York Red Bulls cope with life after Thierry Henry?