Han-Noah Massengo, a promising midfielder for AJ Auxerre and an French international hopeful, recently returned to France after spending almost four years in England. In an interview with Ligue 1’s official site, Massengo discussed his decision to return as well as Thierry Henry’s impact on his career.
Regarding his decision to leave England, Massengo explained, “I was in a complicated situation at Bristol City. The club offered me a contract extension but we couldn’t reach an agreement. As a result, Bristol benched me starting from October. I was barely playing with the main squad and training mostly with the reserve team. I wanted to get more playing time and, coincidentally, AJ Auxerre was in need of a midfielder. It was a good opportunity for me to help the club avoid relegation and to return to French football.”
Thierry Henry gave Massengo his debut in November 2018, and Massengo spoke highly of the legendary striker’s passion for football and willingness to help. “He could spend hours explaining different situations and aspects of the game. Thierry helped me a lot during our time together. Even now, we continue to stay in touch. He is like a mentor and an older brother to me, and I always ask for advice.”
When asked about the type of advice Henry gives him, Massengo replied, “He gives me advice on a wide range of situations that I may encounter during a game. For example, I enjoy playing as a box-to-box midfielder, and Thierry’s experience as a striker gives him a unique perspective on how to handle situations when I find myself in the opposing team’s box.”
The 21-year-old had made 12 appearances for Bristol City this season in all competitions before joining Auxerre on loan. He had made a total of 110 appearances in midfield for the English side and registered three assists. Massengo will be out of contract with the Championship side the following June.
GFFN | George Boxall