Arsenal and Thierry Henry are not ready to throw the towel in on their 13-year love affair after Arsene Wenger declared his interest in bringing him back on loan in January.
Gervinho is set to fly off to the African Nations Cup for the second season on the spin, while Marouane Chamakh is widely expected to leave the club permanently when the transfer window re-opens. This would leave the Gunners light up front for a month or so in their bid to qualify for a 16th successive Champions League, a feat they are priced at 1/2 to achieve.
Henry is currently training with Arsenal as his MLS commitments are done for the season and Wenger has once again been won over by the enigmatic Frenchman’s ability, despite his advancing years.
A potential third reunion between the two appears dependent on the player after the Arsenal boss stated he won’t rule out trying to sign him at the next possible opportunity and it would be a big surprise were he to turn Wenger down; his first spell in north London ended in 2007 and he’s been coming back for more in some capacity almost every year since.
Henry is the club’s all-time top scorer with 228 goals in 377 appearances for the club and netted an injury-time winner on his most recent Premier League appearance against Sunderland.
A third-coming of the Arsenal legend would surely provide a lift for players and fans alike, but he should be wary of tarnishing his status as an all-time great by floundering at the highest level.
There were moments during his loan spell last season – most notably in the Gunners 3-2 defeat at Swansea – where he looked leggy and ragged; a far cry from the gazelle-like figure who swaggered around the pitch making the best defenders look stupid.
A similar thing happened with Robert Pires when Gerard Houllier tried to resurrect his Premier League career at Aston Villa. Farcical consequences ensued that were painful to watch for those who were fortunate to witness the winger at his majestic best, as well as the Villa bankrollers who had to pay his wages.
Henry’s pace was his biggest asset and, with that somewhat diminished, he’s running the risk of falling into the Pires bracket. Perhaps Henry would be better served sticking to the training pitch when Arsene comes calling this time.
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