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A privilege to wear the same number as Thierry Henry for Arsenal, says Nikita Parri

A privilege to wear the same number as Thierry Henry for Arsenal, says Nikita Parri

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rowing up Nikita Parris idolised Thierry Henry and so it should come as little surprise to learn that when she signed for Arsenal Women this summer, the England forward requested to wear the No14 shirt.

That number is synonymous with Henry, who became Arsenal’s record goalscorer, and now Parris is determined to make her own mark in north London after moving to the Gunners from Lyon this summer.

“It was my request,” Parris tells Standard Sport, when asked about her decision to wear the No14 shirt this season.

“Ever since I was a young girl, my role model was Thierry Henry and also Julie Fleeting (who spent eight years with the Gunners).

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“Thierry Henry during his time in the Premier League was, for me, the best striker to ever play in the Premier League. It is a privilege to have the same number as him.

“I loved his and Julie Fleeting’s enthusiasm to score goals. Every goal was celebrated properly, they scored goals on a regular basis.

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“I don’t think Thierry Henry needs any introduction for what he’s done in the English game and the same goes with Julie Fleeting in the women’s game. They are just unbelievable footballers and, if I can have half the careers that they did, I’ll be very happy.”

Parris won the Women’s Super League, FA Cup and League Cup with Manchester City before adding more honours at Lyon.

The 27-year-old forward won all the domestic honours on offer in France, as well as the Champions League, and it is why she felt the time was right to return to England this summer.

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“When I spoke to Arsenal and their plans for the future, they just aligned with mine,” says Parris.

“Their plans were to maintain their core group of players and then add to it, in order to bring prolonged success to the club.

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