Thierry Henry believes losing Ashley Cole would be a second massive blow to Arsenal in as many summers as the defender looks ever more likely to join Chelsea.
The Blues have made an offer for the England international but insist they are starting to consider alternative options.
For Arsenal striker Henry it will be another difficult move to stomach after the departure of Patrick Vieira to Juventus last summer.
The Frenchman told The Sun: 'Let me make it clear - I don't know what is happening with Ashley Cole but the fact remains that if Ashley goes we would be losing one of the team's best assets for the second year running.
'Ashley was tremendous in the World Cup. That is a fact. People can say what they want, but he would be very difficult to replace.
'The loss of Vieira was massive - like it would be if Ashley goes. Obviously we would want him to stay. He is one of the best left-backs in the world. We would miss him badly.
'I don't know anything about the situation with Chelsea but if he goes there it will look like we are trying to catch a team as well as giving them one of our best assets. It would be difficult to take.'