Robin van Persie hails Thierry Henry's 'brave' return to Arsenal

 

Robin van Persie believes Thierry Henry has shown great bravery by returning to Arsenal.

The former Gunners captain, who has signed a short-term loan deal from New York Red Bulls, captured the headlines once again when he came off the bench to extend his club goalscoring record as Leeds were beaten 1-0 in Monday night's FA Cup third-round tie at Emirates Stadium.

Henry, 34, will spend the next six-and-a-half weeks with Arsenal and is set to be part of the squad again at Swansea on Sunday, when Van Persie is due to return to action having been given some extra time off as he sat out the cup tie.

When the Dutchman came to Arsenal in May 2004, he was a raw talent, while Henry was at the peak of his powers.

Van Persie is now himself one of the leading strikers in world football having scored 34 goals in 2011 to better Henry's calendar year tally. The 28-year-old is full of admiration for what his old captain is undertaking.

"Some people might ask why he chose to come back, because he is already a legend here," said Van Persie, who took the skipper's armband this season.

"For me, it tells you everything about him; Thierry is coming back because he loves the game.

"If you asked 10 legends, whether they would come back, I am not sure they would have been brave enough."

Van Persie added: "Thierry knows things are at stake, he is remembered as a legend, but for him, it is simple - he loves the game and wants to be a part of the club he loves.

"I am sure he will get loads of games because I have seen him in training and I don't want too put too much pressure on, but he is looking really good."

Van Persie last week spent some time on a family break in Dubai, where he met Diego Maradona.

The Dutchman hopes the downtime will see him come back refreshed and ready to spearhead Arsenal's drive towards the top four.

"The good thing is that we have been able to have a little break over the last few days, which is always welcome at this time of year," Van Persie said.

"I have been able to recharge the batteries a little bit, get refreshed and ready to go again. I'm looking forward to the year."

Arsenal should have Swiss international Johan Djourou available again following suspension after his red card at Fulham, which will be a welcome boost given the injuries in defence, exacerbated by a hamstring tear for Francis Coquelin against Leeds.

Manager Arsene Wenger is expected to move for cover at full-back, with both Wayne Bridge, now surplus to requirements at Manchester City, and Lyon's Aly Cissokho reported targets.

Out-of-favour Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou, currently on African Nations Cup duty with Ivory Coast, is also reported to be on Wenger's radar again.

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk