Arsenal shareholder Usmanov wants Henry on coaching staff

Alisher Usmanov, a shareholder in Arsenal, has called for manager Arsene Wenger to add legendary striker Thierry Henry to the club’s coaching staff, claiming the New York Red Bulls forward has more to offer the Gunners in a backroom role than on the field, the Daily Mirror has reported.

Usmanov owns 29 per cent of Arsenal and has long been trying to launch a takeover of the club and wrest control from Stan Kroenke, the club’s majority shareholder. As part of his strategy Usmanov is said to have invited Henry and his agent, Darren Dein, the son of Arsenal’s former vice-chairman David Dein, to Moscow.

The billionaire Usmanov compared the role he envisions for Henry to that held at Manchester City by another former Arsenal captain, Patrick Vieira, who Usmanov claimed is an Arsenal icon but is employed by another club, a situation he wants to avoid with Henry.

I don’t have any powers in terms of decisions at the club but there are a few players with whom I am in contact. My favourite is probably Thierry Henry. Thierry should be involved at the club but not as a player. He has another role to play, a more important role,” Usmanov said.

Henry is expected to join Arsenal on a short-term loan from New York Red Bulls next month when the transfer window opens. The 35-year-old spent a similar period at the Emirates Stadium last season, having first left the club for Barcelona in 2007.

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