Wenger confirms Henry return
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hailed Thierry Henry’s impending return to the club on a two-month loan deal.
The French superstar is currently playing in American for New York Red Bulls, but as their league does not begin until March he is available to spend time on loan back in Europe.
Henry is poised to follow a similar path previously taken by the likes of David Beckham and Landon Donovan, who have enjoyed short-term spells with AC Milan and Everton, respectively.
Now Wenger has confirmed that Henry is coming back to the club on loan for two months, subject to insurance agreements being reached with New York Red Bulls.
“It was my idea. He was happy about it, but it was my idea,” Wenger explained.
“He is still class and has quality. He still has pace. It can only be positive, because he has exceptional talent.”
Arsene Wenger Quotes of the week
Class and quality
“We are doing it because Gervinho and Chamakh go to the African Nations Cup and to cover for two months is ideal.
“He is still class and has quality. He still has pace. It can only be positive, because he has exceptional talent.
“He is experienced, he is quality, and can help the players on and off the pitch.
“The deal is not completed, and at the moment we can’t announce anything. It is about insurance and I don’t take care of that but we have to respect all the agreements we need to find with MLS.
“But it shows that Arsenal is always special to players, such as Sol Campbell, Jens Lehmann and now Thierry.”
Wenger admits the club’s all-time leading scorer is not yet fit to make an immediate return.
“I think he needs two good weeks work, he is here to help out. No-one expects him to be what he was 10 years ago. There’s no special pressure,” he said.
“We are concious that he is 34 years old and he will be just enough for us. He is here to help, when we need him he will play.”
Wenger is confident that Henry and Robin van Persie could easily line-up together, adding: “When they play together we will do very well, they are two good players who can give the ball and score so why would they not work together well?”
It is believed Henry could make his debut against Leeds later this month, but Wenger admits he still hopes to have Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh available before they depart for the African Cup of Nations.
“Gervinho and Chamakh could be available for Leeds, but only if we get an agreement,” he said.
Wenger also revealed that he is not looking for any permanent deals in January, saying: “We are not looking for permanent players unless we lose players, as we have a big squad.”
Finally he confirmed that England midfielder Jack Wilshere is recovering well from his ankle surgery.
“He is progressing very well, and very quickly,” he said.