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Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta backed Thierry Henry as the right man to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, saying he would make “a very good coach.”
Laporta signed Henry from Arsenal in 2007 and compared the former striker to Pep Guardiola, whom he hired as Barcelona coach in 2008 despite having no previous head coaching experience.
“The same requirements we were appreciating in Pep Guardiola when we decided to put him as a coach of the first team, Thierry has many of them,” Laporta told the Telegraph.
“If he wants to become a coach and more specifically wants to coach Arsenal, then it is because he is convinced he will do it very well because he is looking for excellence all the time — just as when he was a player. He knows football, as one of the best players in the world. These kinds of people, like Pep Guardiola and Johan Cruyff, they know very well football. They don’t need the extended period maybe that other coaches need to be a great coach.
“He knows Arsenal, the supporters, the club and he’s a guy that deserves everything he would like to achieve. I believe he could be a very good coach. For him, with his reputation, it’s not acceptable to fail.”
Laporta added that Henry would also be a good fit for other roles at Arsenal and emphasised the importance of having former players in key positions at the club after they retire.
“It’s always been my opinion that Football Club Barcelona should produce players, but, at the same time, we should produce coaches for our first team in order to maintain our style,” Laporta said. “That’s an advantage Thierry would have with Arsenal over many other coaches.”