Henry could help Arsenal land the next Bellingham

Jude Bellingham, Thierry Henry, Arsenal

Thierry Henry’s presence as France U21 head coach could prove beneficial for Arsenal in the long run, and one of the first players the Gunners legend could help them to sign is one of the most promising young midfielders in the world game.

Henry holds a deep and lasting connection to the Emirates club, where he is the all-time record scorer, and given the opportunity, he will surely push any young talent the way of Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

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One particular player that he holds clear admiration for is PSG sensation Warren Zaire-Emery, who at 17 years old has already been handed the France U21 captaincy by Henry.

PROFILE: Who is Warren Zaire-Emery? All you need to know about the PSG starlet

“It’s truly astonishing what he can do at the moment. We can talk about his strength and his physique, but his vision… understanding the game, how he positions himself, the desire he has…” Henry told L’Equipe.

“With the captain’s armband, I wanted to know what he has in his stomach. He showed me in two matches that he is an exceptional player.”

Even amid PSG’s capitulation in the Champions League against Newcastle, the former Arsenal hitman was impressed.

“Unfortunately his team collapsed, but not him,” he said. “His maturity, what he manages to do, to understand at his age, it’s just not normal! Let’s be happy to have a French player like that.”

Warren Zaire-Emery

Zaire-Emery’s incredible explosion

The terms that Zaire-Emery is being spoken of echo those words regarding Jude Bellingham. The young Englishman has heard such things about his game since his days at Birmingham, but he has backed it up with his performances at Borussia Dortmund and now Real Madrid.

Bellingham, it should be stressed, is a different player to Zaire-Emery. Whereas the 20-year-old has rapidly shown his capabilities in the final third at the Bernabeu with a series of match-winning goals, Zaire-Emery typically operates deeper in the field and is unlikely to be so decisive – at least in terms of scoring.

But France are already considering ushering him into the international set up as the era of Paul Pogba, facing a four-year doping ban, and N’Golo Kante is over

“He is a serious candidate to have a role in midfield given his incredible maturity,” Didier Deschamps said as he named his France team to face Netherlands and Scotland in the October international break.

Deschamps has previously named Bellingham’s Real Madrid clubmate Eduardo Camavinga in the squad at the age of 17 years and 9 months. There is still time for Zaire-Emery to beat that post-war record.

PSG, meanwhile, is not recognised as a club where young players typically hang about.

Although they are trying to change that reputation, it can only be positive for Arsenal that they have an influential figure championing Zaire-Emery and his career should he ever decide to leave Parc des Princes.

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