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05 July 2017

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry gave Gunners new boy Alexandre Lacazette an inspirational pep talk before his move to the Emirates

IF ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE turns out to be a huge hit at Arsenal they will have to thank arguably their greatest player.

Because it was a major kick up the backside from Thierry Henry that got his fellow French striker firing.

Arsenal will have one of their club record goalscorer to thank if Alexandre Lacazette produces the goods for them
Arsenal will have one of their club record goalscorer to thank if Alexandre Lacazette produces the goods for them
Getty Images
A Thierry Henry pep talk gave Lacazette the kick up the backside he needed
A Thierry Henry pep talk gave Lacazette the kick up the backside he needed
Getty Images

During a chance meeting in New York, Gunners legend Henry told Lacazette to sort himself out at Lyon if he was to fulfil his potential.

Lacazette, 26, yesterday became Arsenal’s record buy in a deal which could be worth £52million.

Whether he delivers the success enjoyed by Henry in North London remains to be seen.

He is not even a regular for the French national team, having scored just once in 11 internationals and he failed to make their Euro 2016 squad.

Yet Lacazette listened to the advice given by Henry when Lyon visited America for a pre-season tour in 2013 and has eventually reaped the benefits.

The pair are certain to speak again as Arsene Wenger’s new star settles into life in England.

Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal
Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette for £52m
Getty Images
Wenger Lacazette
Arsene Wenger will hope Lacazette can fire Arsenal back into the Champions League
Getty Images


Lacazette said: “Thierry shook me up. He told me I always have to keep working on myself, which you tend to forget when you’re young.

“When a player like Thierry speaks, you can’t ignore what he’s saying to you. I realised that to be a great player meant permanent hard work. Someone like him always wanted to improve, even with the career he had.”

Ahead of sealing his move to Arsenal, Lacazette added: “I think it’s the right moment to leave.  I want to discover something else, to take risks by going up a level.

Thierry Henry was Arsene Wenger's greatest signing
Thierry Henry was Arsene Wenger’s greatest signing
PA:Press Association
Thierry Henry went on to become Arsenal's all-time top goalscorer
Thierry Henry went on to become Arsenal’s all-time top goalscorer
Reuters
Thierry Henry gave Lacazette his inspirational chat during a chance meeting in America
Thierry Henry gave Lacazette his inspirational chat during a chance meeting in America
Getty Images

“It’s all well and good saying I score goals, I know very well that on a European scale, I’m still not well known. I want to see if I can answer the questions people are asking.”

Lacazette has spent all of his professional career at Lyon, his home-city club.

He was raised in Californie — the name of the council residence in the Mermoz area. He carried on living in the family home on the 13th floor until 2012 — even though he was an established star.

He grew up there with mum Rose, dad Alfred, and his three older brothers — Jerome, Raphael and  Benoit, who is the striker’s advisor.

The best of Arsenal's new signing Alexandre Lacazette – a man on top form at Lyon last season
The best of Lyon forward and Arsenal target Alexandre Lacazette

Ex-Gunner and former Aston Villa boss Remi Garde worked in Lyon’s academy for many years and helped Lacazette to develop.

Garde said: “When you talk about intelligence in football, patience is a part of that. And he sums that up well.”

Former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier has been an advisor to Lyon — a club he also managed from 2005-07.

He said: “Alexandre a bit like Ian Wright and will fit in their game.

“He is more suited to their passing game than other players because of the way they build up.

“He’s very good in the box. You don’t seem to notice him then suddenly he is there.”


Keep up to date with all the latest news, gossip, rumours and done deals in SunSport’s live transfer blog



Thierry Henry relives first time he met Wenger
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