Thierry Henry believes top players like Neymar wouldn’t dream of joining Arsenal in its current state and that the club is going backwards under Arsene Wenger.
The former Barcelona star admitted his disappointment at his old side’s failure to attract the best talent, with the likes of N’Golo Kante and Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining Chelsea and Manchester United, despite the two sides being unable to offer Champions League football.
And while Henry thinks they can compete financially, he’s concerned by the inability to lure top talent – a problem that could only get worse.
‘It kills me to say this as an Arsenal fan, but my old club are not an attractive destination any more for the top, top players,’ he told The Sun.
‘Why would the leading players who can have a real impact in the Premier League and improve that Arsenal team come to the Emirates?
‘Not being in the Champions League didn’t stop N’Golo Kante joining Chelsea from Leicester last summer.
‘It didn’t stop Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining Manchester United. Kante was the hottest thing on the market last summer — and he chose to join Chelsea, not Arsenal who also wanted him.
‘Competition for trophies is the key. If you are a director of football and you work for Arsenal, how do you attract a big player?
I’m not suggesting people aren’t doing their jobs at Arsenal — just that selling the club has become increasingly difficult over the last two or three years.
‘I don’t see anything to attract the big players.
‘And, of course, players talk to each other. If Neymar called Sanchez tomorrow and said: “Should I join Arsenal?” what would he say?
‘You try to find out what a club is like. And when you’re with the national team it comes up.
‘The feedback at the moment from Arsenal wouldn’t be great. You only need to look at the results to determine that.
‘Kante is not an Arsenal fan or a Chelsea fan, he’s a fan of winning. And he clearly made the right choice.’