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Henry´s number could be up at Barca

SoccerNews in La Liga, Ligue 1 28 Sep 2008


French international Thierry Henry may have scored in Barcelona's 2-1 derby win over Espanyol on Saturday but his exit looks increasingly likely with new manager Pep Guardiola seemingly favouring Samuel Eto'o in the central striking position.

Cameroon forward Eto'o seemed certain to leave in the summer but stayed on with suitors baulking at his transfer fee and he has become first choice up front with Henry on the substitutes bench or out on the left wing.

Henry still insists his future lies at Barcelona but admits his family ties in London make it difficult.

“At the moment I'm not thinking about leaving and I hope that doesn't change,” Henry told Radio Catalunya according to Saturday's As daily.

“But sometimes things happen in your life that you don't expect. I didn't think I would leave Arsenal and look where I am now.

“Obviously my life is in London because I have my daughter there but that doesn't mean that I don't know when I need to concentrate.

“I haven't won anything with the team yet so I understand that the fans demand so much of us.”

Henry, now 31, joined Barca for 24 million euros in the summer of 2007 after eight trophy-laden seasons with Arsenal where he scored 174 goals in 254 appearances.

Last season Frank Rijkaard used him on the left wing – a position he clearly doesn't like – and Henry admits he made the mistake of playing injured.

“Last season I spoke with Rijkaard and he said that Ronaldinho wasn't at his best,” explained Rijkaard. “He asked if I could play and I didn't want to sit out three months so I did.”

Eto'o also had a stint out on the left wing – where he looks equally uncomfortable – and

“He (Henry) is giving his all, working well in defence and attack,” explained Eto'o. “If you dedicate your time to creating goals for your team-mates you are not going to score that many.

“He is not as young as he was at Arsenal and Barcelona don't play the same but his performances are good. Last season he scored 19 goals without playing in all the matches.”

At 27, Eto'o is four years Henry's junior possibly persuading Guardiola that he is the better long-term prospect as the centre forward.

With Eto'o rested, Henry started the derby against Espanyol in his favourite position and scored the equaliser in the 2-1 win but whether he can edge Eto'o out of the team on a full-time basis is anyone's guess.


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