Wenger - Henry loan is win-win

Gunners chief confident French star won't tarnish legendary status

Thierry Henry: Wenger has no doubt he will do himself justice on loan return

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Arsene Wenger believes Thierry Henry can become an even bigger Arsenal legend after returning to the club on loan from New York Red Bulls.

The MLS outfit are now in their off-season and the Gunners' all-time leading scorer completed a short-term loan move to the Emirates on Friday.

The former captain, now 34, will go straight into the squad for Monday night's FA Cup third-round clash against Leeds.

That begins a six-and-a-half-week spell which will take in games against Manchester United, AC Milan and possibly even the visit of Tottenham on February 26.

Henry passed Ian Wright's record to score 226 goals during eight trophy-laden seasons with the north London club before leaving for Barcelona in 2007.

Only last month, the Gunners unveiled a bronze statue outside the gates of the Emirates to Henry as part of their 125th anniversary celebrations.

They say you should never go back but Wenger believes the Frenchman's return can only be good for all involved.

"You cannot take away from people what they have done, and what he has delivered will stay forever," he said. "It can just make the statue a bit bigger. Let us hope he will do that.


"Thierry is a world-class player and even at this club a player of that dimension is always very difficult to find, especially at this period of the season. He can just add something more to the team.

"Who would turn down a player of his quality? We have a good spirit in the side and he will add something more, experience-wise, and on the nervy side as well, when we are under pressure.

"That is a good addition because he knows the club, he knows the league, and it is only positive."

Wenger is in no doubt Henry still has the quality to compete at the highest level having trained at his old club since the end of the MLS season, where Red Bulls were knocked out of the play-offs by David Beckham's LA Galaxy.

"Thierry is like everyone who develops in life, he is more open to people," Wenger said.

Less pressure

"When you are a young striker you are more focused on yourself and today, what he can give to others is of a higher level than he could do five or six years ago.

"Thierry is in a position where he's done it all and is under less pressure than five or six years ago.

"We want him to perform," he added. "I want him to help the team and do well.

"I don't even have to say a word because he will want to do that himself."