It's not often that a player with the calibre and quality of Thierry Henry turns up at your club. Arsenal were lucky to have his during his prime as he became the best player in Arsenal's history during his 9 year stint, scoring 226 goals and laying on 92 assists in his 369 appearances. It is certainly a rare event to have him turn up twice.
Yet, as Sky Sports News report this evening, Arsenal's greatest player Thierry Henry will re-sign with the Gooners on a 2 month loan deal from New York Red Bulls.
The deal was offered in the last few days as Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looks to add depth to his squad that is set to lose Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh for up to 2 months during the Cup of African Nations.
He could feature in seven Premier League games — as well as FA Cup ties and the first leg of Arsenal’s Champions League last-16 clash against AC Milan. But it is the Premier League matches against Manchester United and Tottenham coming up where he could make the biggest difference.
Whilst Thierry is not the player that left Arsenal in 2007, and is certainly in the twilight of his career, the 34 year old does have the ability to trouble Premiership defences. You can sense Arsene's reasoning for bringing back his fellow Frenchman as, even in a less advanced role, Henry scored 15 goals in 29 matches for New York this year. Albeit not against the best opposition, it is certainly not a bad return and is very favourable when compared to Chamakh's 2 goals in 12 months.
Since the off season started in the US, Thierry has been training with the Arsenal first and reserve teams and his quality has been there to see. In a recent interview, Per Mertesacker noted how he has impressed the Arsenal squad with his sharpness and attitude. He said:
The big German also hinted at the possible signing of national team mate Lukas Podolski:"Henry has a lot of experience and he is a great opportunity for us, but I am not the manager and I do not know what is possible, for him or for us. In training, Henry shows his class and [it is good] to have him with us. He still has the same attitude he showed in a lot of games at Arsenal."
"He is a good striker with a very good finish. His left foot is unbelievable and I am a fan of him. This year, he has scored a lot of goals. He is powerful as well."
There are some negatives to Henry's return though. Sure he brings his quality and experience in abundance, but will his surrounding aura have a negative impact on team mates. For every medal he can show, he can now show his statue just outside too, and will he be content to bide with the unused Park for a back up slot? Maybe the old Thierry would not, but the Frenchman has matured as he has reached his mid thirties and, on the short term basis that he will join the club, will surely lift the mood amongst the squad.
His love for the club has always been evident, and he can show the rest of the team what it actually means to play in the famous red and white shirt.
Hopefully we will see more of this.