Theo Walcott has joked that Thierry Henry will not be getting his hands on his old number 14 jersey when he puts pen to paper on a two month loan deal at the Emirates in the coming days.
The England winger inherited the famous jersey in 2008, a year after his mentor and Arsenal’s leading goalscorer moved to Barcelona. However, despite the near-certainty of Henry’s return to North London it looks as though the Gallic hitman will have to settle for the spare number 12 shirt – a jersey more associated with his international career.
Speaking to Arsenal Player about having Henry back in the squad, Walcott spoke positively about the 34-year-old’s influence:
“It’s great. I’ve got his shirt number now, but he’s not getting it back [even] if he comes back for a while. I’ve already told him that.
“It’s great having him in training. He’s a great finisher as always and a good leader around the dressing room.
“He’ll be very good for the young guys coming through, he’s so much experience. He’s been everywhere to World Cups and won leagues, so he’s only going to help on that side of the game. He’s another option [up front] as well.”
Having moved to Highbury at the age of 16, Walcott also admitted that his relationship with Henry is very different to that which he held five years ago.
“I’ve obviously played a lot more games now and gained more experience. I’m one of the senior players even though I’m only 22.
“I’m much more relaxed around the place, but still work hard which is important. I’m not star struck like I was before, I’m just normal now.”