Henry return offers key experience to Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed the club are looking to bring club legend Thierry Henry back to the Emirates Stadium on a two-month loan deal, subject to insurance arrangements being agreed with the player’s current club, MLS side New York Red Bulls.

Having trained with his former club to retain his fitness ahead of the new MLS campaign, Wenger felt his former captain showed glimpses of the form that made him the club’s greatest ever goalscorer, leading to Henry’s short-term return, as cover for Africa Cup of Nations-bound forwards Marouane Chamakh and Gervinho. However, as well as offering support for Robin van Persie in attack, the return of Henry will offer a key source of experience to a club famed for producing young players.

Criticised in recent campaigns for a lack of experienced players at crucial points in the season, Arsenal are currently seeking to end a spell of six years without winning a major trophy. Despite producing talents in recent years, with the likes of Jack Wilshere becoming a regular in the England senior set-up, the Gunners have lacked the likes of Henry, Patrick Vieira and Ashley Cole, all of whom went on to win further honours after successful spells at Arsenal.

In reintroducing Henry to the Arsenal squad, Wenger is bringing back a man who is held in the highest regard at the club, with the player himself attending a ceremony at the Emirates stadium to see a statue of himself unveiled, just three weeks earlier. With the likes of Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor leaving Arsenal in recent years, opting to chase honours with Manchester City, many began to question Arsene Wenger’s future at the club. However, in working with Henry once again, the Arsenal boss is presenting to his squad, an example of just where his methods have taken their club in previous years, a feat Wenger remains adamant his current side have the potential to emulate.

Sentiment aside, Arsenal fans will be hoping the return of Henry has benefits on the pitch also. Aside from the consistent goal-scoring form of van Persie, Arsenal have often been accused of lacking firepower this season. With two forwards due to depart on international duty, with the return of a man who scored 226 goals in 370 appearances for the club before going onto further success at Barcelona, the Gunners faithful will be hoping to see further glimpses of the Frenchman’s ability. Despite being 34 years of age, Wenger has stated that Henry’s commitment to the club can allow the move to be a success, echoing Sol Campbell’s successful short-term return to the club in 2010.

In a move widely well-received among Arsenal supporters, many will be hoping that the return of a club legend can help Arsenal to close the gap in the title race and help end the club’s trophy drought. With key fixtures ahead, Wenger will be hoping the move, in the short-term at least, can echo the success of their previous working relationship.

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