Thierry Henry hits back at Kevin De Bruyne over Premier League assists record

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry and Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne after Belgium's defeat to France at the 2018 World Cup
Thierry Henry and Kevin De Bruyne worked together with the Belgian national team (Picture: Getty)

Thierry Henry has revealed the perfect response he had for Kevin De Bruyne after the Manchester City star warned him he was ‘coming for’ his Premier League assists record.

De Bruyne, regarded as one of the most gifted passers in world football, was just four behind Henry’s outrageous tally of 20 assists when the coronavirus crisis brought a English football to a halt last month.

The Belgium international has made no secret of his desire to chase Henry’s tally down and recently admitted that he had been teasing the iconic former Arsenal striker that it was only a matter of time before his record would be wiped from the history books.

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De Bruyne looks on during Manchester City's Carabao Cup final with Aston Villa
De Bruyne has racked up 16 assists in the league this season (Picture: Getty)

‘To be honest, I feel like I’m on 17 – I know they took one away from me at Arsenal. I don’t know why they did it, I still don’t understand it,’ De Bruyne told The Athletic last week.

‘I always joked with Henry in the national team, even at Vincent Kompany’s testimonial this year. I saw him and said “I’m coming for you this year”. 

‘To have 16 assists is really nice and speaks really well for a creative player. But if it doesn’t happen we still go on.

‘When you get something it fills you with pride because I had it in Germany and it’s nice to see you broke some records.’

Thierry Henry strikes the ball during Arsenal's Premier League clash with Middlesbrough in 2002
Henry scored 24 goals and provided 20 assists in the Premier League in 2002/03 (Picture: Getty)

Henry spoke with De Bruyne’s team-mate, Aguero, for PUMA Football this weekend and a whole host of topics were discussed, from the Frenchman’s initial struggles at Barcelona to the Argentinian’s admiration for Michael Owen as a youngster.

The ex-Arsenal forward also lifted the lid on a conversation he had with De Bruyne following the Belgian’s recent comments and joked the midfielder needs to start chipping in with more goals – on top of the assists – before calling him out in public.

‘When you see Kevin [De Bruyne]… because the other day he told me that he’s willing and trying to provide more than 20 assists,’ Henry said.

‘He has 16 already, right? Yeah that’s right, 16, and the record in a season is 20. And I hold the record.

‘So he said the other day that he wants to beat it. But I told him that with those 20 assists, you will have to score 24 goals as well! Not only assists!

Aguero responded: ‘It’s complicated to do both, goals and assists. In the end, assists create goals.

‘Maybe in order to really get noticed you have to provide 30, 35 assists to compensate the goals.

‘Kevin has goals too, though!’

Henry stressed that he was only joking about De Bruyne’s goalscoring record and Aguero responded by heaping yet more praise on his ‘incredible’ City team-mate.

‘I know, I was just kidding! To provoke him,’ Henry said.

Aguero replied: ‘What I’ve seen from Kevin is just incredible.

‘From nowhere he gives you a pass that you weren’t even expecting.

‘I don’t know if you had the same players reaction with some players, perhaps at Barcelona? You’re just like, “Oh, I have the ball!”’

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