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Macintosh: Prem Heroes and Villains

Premier League about an hour ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jan 18, 2006

Come and join us, Henry tells Walcott

Thierry Henry has pleaded with teenage striker Theo Walcott to join Arsenal.

The Gunners are locked in a battle with Chelsea for the 16-year-old Southampton sensation.

Henry said: 'There are a lot of teams trying to get him but if he can join us then I would welcome him here and he would be a benefit.

'People are saying there are similarities (between the pair) and it's good to hear what he said about me.

'I first saw him play in the Youth Cup and I saw him as a player with great pace and a lot of tricks.

'I've also seen him play this year. I can't even remember what I was like as a player when I was that age so it's difficult to say.

'But he's a young player with a lot of desire and skills who obviously loves to play football.'

Southampton confirmed yesterday they have received offers from two `top Premiership clubs' for Walcott and are expecting a third shortly.

Arsenal had a bid, believed to be £12million, rejected at the weekend but manager Arsene Wenger is hopeful a successful conclusion can be reached.

Saints chairman Rupert Lowe admitted the club had received two bids.

'We have now received a couple of offers and the indications are another may follow,' he told the club's official website. 'These have not been accepted or rejected at this stage.'

• Meanwhile, the striker's agent claims Walcott has the potential to be the next Wayne Rooney.

Warwick Horton, has not been surprised by the interest shown in his client, who has been compared to peerless Henry.

'He has the potential to be as successful as Wayne Rooney although he has been likened more to Thierry Henry because of his style and pace,' he said.

'He is an ambitious lad and wants to train and play with the best players he can to try to take his career to the next level.'

Horton admits the constant speculation has affected Walcott, adding on the club's official website: 'It has been an unsettling time for Theo.

'He loves Southampton as a club and has been surprised by the interest although he rarely reads the papers or pays much interest to speculation.'