Former Liverpool star Jamie Redknapp claims Manchester United legend Eric Cantona was ‘not in the same league’ as his French compatriot and Arsenal great Thierry Henry as a player.
Cantona is regarded as one of the club’s all-time greats, and won four Premier League titles before retiring prematurely at the age of 31.
Cantona had already quit the game by the time Henry arrived England.
But in a discussion over the Premier League’s greatest foreign imports, Redknapp feels Henry was streets ahead of his fellow frenchman.
Speaking of Cantona on Sky Sports, Redknapp said: “He had big moments in the Premier League, he was just different.
“You felt there was a bit of that arrogance he created, there was so much mystique about him, you heard the rumours about him as a person…
“Look, I’m leaving myself open to a bit of ridicule here. I’ve played against a lot better players than him, trust me.
“But he just had that something special, in the big moments. If you’re comparing to someone like Thierry Henry, for example, I don’t think he’d be in the same league.
“But the influence that he had at United and the fact they still all sing his name tells you how much he is loved at that football club.”
Redknapp witnessed United’s Cantona-inspired dominance first hand in the early to mid-nineties.
Having seen off the challenge of Liverpool to seal the domestic title, Cantona grabbed United’s late winner in the FA Cup final between the sides in 1996.
After helping United successfully defend the title the following year, Cantona announced his decision to retire.
“He [Cantona] wasn’t necessarily the quickest, he had a fantastic touch, he’d bring people into play,” Redknapp added.
“The big European nights, he perhaps didn’t have the influence on those games, the big occasions. But I think it was the all round belief he gave that United team.
“Until you play against someone and you see their talent, you see sometimes how great they are. That was the same with Thierry. Everyone could see it but also playing against him made you realise it even more.
“Eric like all great players had time. That was the one thing I always noticed. Every time the ball went close to him it felt like he had a second more than everybody else. He was an incredibly talented player.”Copyright © 2022 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.