Arsene Wenger has predicted that Thierry Henry will return to Arsenal one day, although he does not know when or in what capacity.
Henry, Arsenal’s all-time leading goal-scorer, is set to retire from playing after announcing his departure from New York Red Bulls this week. While Wenger ruled out an immediate move for the 37-year-old – saying that he needed time to “reflect” – he predicted that Henry would one day return to the club who already have a statue of him erected outside.
“I understand that he wants to reflect for a while on how he wants to go in his life,” Wenger said at his press conference this morning. “He has the right to reflect and think of what he wants to do now.”
Arsenal's injury list
Arsenal's injury list
1/5 Mikel Arteta (midfield)
Like Diaby, the Spaniard is closing in on a return but the Swansea match will come to soon. The club captain last played in November.
2/5 Mathieu Debuchy (defender)
Returned in the FA Cup semi-final win over Reading but has since been ruled out with injury and Wenger confirmed he remains 'unavailable'.
3/5 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (midfield)
Suffered a hamstring injury against Manchester United in the FA Cup and hasn't played since as it has exacerbated a groin problem. Out at least until May and facing surgery in the summer.
4/5 Aaron Ramsey (midfield)
Aaron Ramsey caught a kick on his calf during the win over Hull and was later substituted. The Welshman was rated 50/50 for the Swansea match by Wenger, but it now appears that he is a major doubt for the clash at the Emirates.
5/5 Danny Welbeck (forward)
Danny Welbeck has not played since the goalless draw with Chelsea towards the end of April after suffering a knee injury. Wenger has confirmed that the injury is 'nothing major', and that he should return to full fitness before the end of the season.
Wenger was confident, though, of an Arsenal return for the man who had a brief loan spell back at the Emirates from New York in 2012. “He is an Arsenal man,” Wenger said.
“This was the best moment certainly of his life and of his career, was experienced here. Certainly one day he will come back here. In what role I don’t know, that is what he has to think about: what direction he wants to give to his next life.”
While Henry had not yet announced his retirement, Wenger believes that Henry does not want to carry on. He was confident, though, that Henry would be a good coach if he chose to be.
“He has all the qualities because he is intelligent, committed, he loves the game,” Wenger said. “He just has to think 'do I want to sacrifice all the rest of my life to be involved in that job?'”
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