“People were doubting him” - Thierry Henry insists he is ‘very happy’ for 25-year-old star sold by Arsenal

Thierry Henry heaps praise on former Arsenal winger Donyell Malen
Thierry Henry heaps praise on former Arsenal winger Donyell Malen

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry heaped praise on Borussia Dortmund forward Donyell Malen following his performance against PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday, February 20.

Malen scored in Dortmund's 1-1 draw against PSV at the Philips Stadion in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first-leg clash. He scored in the 24th minute before Luuk de Jong equalised for the Dutch side in the 56th minute via a penalty.

Before the match, Henry heaped praise on Malen's story and his ability, saying (via HITC):

“I like Donyell Malen. I like his story. He is coming back to the ground where he won the league six years ago with Eindhoven.
"He had to battle cruciate ligaments. A lot of stories. He was at Ajax as a youngster. He couldn’t cope with it, then he came to Arsenal and couldn’t make it at Arsenal, then he went to Eindhoven and he made a path for himself."

After Malen's performance against PSV Eindhoven, Henry reminisced his time with the forward at the Gunners and said:

“I had him for a year because I was passing my badges there. It didn’t work out for him at Arsenal. I thought he had some quality, but at Arsenal, you have a lot of quality."

He further spoke about Malen's journey, saying:

“Then he went to Eindhoven and played for a young PSV. That’s the second team and he ended up doing brilliantly, which I am very happy about because, at the very beginning, people were doubting him. He trusted himself and his qualities, with his family, and he made it happen and won the league with PSV.
“Now, he plays for Holland. He scored tonight. It must have been emotional to play against Eindhoven, a team that he won the league with almost six years ago, so I am very happy for him.”

Malen didn't make a senior appearance for the Gunners but spent two years with their youth teams.

The 25-year-old forward joined PSV in 2017 before joining Dortmund in 2021. He has registered 30 goals and 17 assists in 102 games for the German club so far.


Mikel Arteta on Arsenal's belief in UEFA Champions League this season

The Gunners returned to the UEFA Champions League after six years this season and topped their group to reach the Round of 16. They will now face Porto, with the first leg at Estadio do Dragao set to take place on Wednesday, February 21.

In a pre-match press conference, manager Mikel Arteta was asked how far he believes his side can go into the competition. He said:

"It’s great we have earnt the right to be here. It’s been seven years since we’ve been at this table for this kind of match and 14 years since we’ve been able to go to the next stage. That’s the challenge, that’s what is ahead of us and we are really excited to face it, and to go for it with full belief, that’s for sure."

Arsenal last made it past the Round of 16 of the Champions League back in the 2009-10 season. Incidentally, they beat Porto 6-2 on aggregate on that occasion to reach the quarter-finals.

The Gunners come into the game on the back of a 5-0 hammering of Burnley in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Porto beat Estrela Amadora 2-0 in their last game in Liga Portugal.

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