Arsene Wenger has ruled out signing Thierry Henry on a short-term loan deal despite welcoming his former charge to train with the club during the MLS off-season.
The French striker will train with the Gunners until February as he looks to maintain his fitness, but will not take to the Emirates pitch in the red and white despite romantic Arsenal fans calling on Wenger to add his experience to Arsenal’s young squad.
Paying homage to Henry’s continued professionalism Wenger made clear the youthful members of the Emirates set-up would be honoured to train alongside the club’s highest ever scorer.
“I think it is an honour and a pleasure [to have him around],” he said.
“An honour because he is a legend at the Club and he is coming back, a pleasure because when he is on the football pitch, he is still a great player.
“He will come and join us a few times. Normally he enjoys it to come back to European football and to come back to his club. He will come back normally for training.
Asked if there was a future chance of Henry working alongside Wenger in a coaching capacity, Wenger remained coy:
“His future is in the States.He is going back in February. Until then we will just help him to practice and keep fit.”
The boss was even more coy when asked if his compatriot was an option to provide cover for Marouane Chamakh in January’s African Cup of Nations:
“I’ve not thought about that at all. At the moment we have a big squad. Anyway that problem cannot be examined until the end of December. At the moment we have 26 outfield players, so we have a big squad.
“He has talked to me about coming back and practicing and enjoying the game. Thierry loves football, Thierry loves Arsenal. To practice with us is a pleasure. For him and for us.”
While Arseblog News grows misty eyed remembering our second favourite Gallic maestro (you’ll always be No.1 Bobby) taking up his place on the left wing, racing between defenders and curling the ball into the bottom right hand corner, we’ve accepted in our heart-of-hearts that his time as an Arsenal player has past. Sad, but sometimes being realistic is the easiest way to relieve the aching pain.
Picture courtesy of Arsenal.com