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Premier League

Thierry Henry will inspire Arsenal says Harry Redknapp


Manager Harry Redknapp thinks Thierry Henry's experience will boost Arsenal's chances of qualifying for the Champions League.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger confirmed this morning that Henry will re-join the Gunners on a two-month loan deal subject to an insurance agreement being reached with the striker's parent club, New York Red Bulls.

The 34-year-old returns to a club where he scored 226 times in 370 appearances during an eight-year spell widely regarded as the most successful in the Londoners' history.

Now in the twilight of his career, Henry will no doubt struggle to replicate the kind of form which made him a club legend, but Redknapp thinks the striker's experience and presence in the Arsenal dressing room could boost their chances of improving on their current position of fifth in the Barclays Premier League.

Tottenham benefited from having David Beckham train with them last year during the MLS off-season and the Spurs boss thinks Henry's presence could have a similar impact on the club's north London rivals.

"It's fantastic for them," Redknapp said. "He is one of the great players in the history of the Premier League.

"I'm sure he will be a good signing for Arsenal for a couple of months. He will be good to have around the place.

"It's important to have people like that around your club and in the dressing room. They're good on the pitch and off it too. He is a top-class professional."

Last year Beckham trained with Tottenham for two months, but they could not agree an insurance package with the Los Angeles Galaxy to allow the former England captain to turn out for the club in a competitive match.

Redknapp says Beckham, whose contract at the Galaxy is close to expiring, would be welcome back at Tottenham for another training spell, but it is understood that the former Manchester United man is keen on either renewing his deal in the United States or moving to Paris St Germain.

Even though Beckham did not turn out for Spurs last year, Redknapp was highly impressed with the effect his presence around the club's training ground had.

"He was great here," Redknapp said.

"He was a class act to have around. I would have him back here tomorrow.

"Everybody loved having him around. The boy loves football and he's a great player.

"He's important to have around so the players can look at someone like that and see how he lives, how he behaves and how he trains.

"No one with all the coaching in the world can match that. It can't have done any harm to someone like Gareth Bale having David around."

Bale will return to his native Wales to face Swansea tomorrow after an excellent week which has seen his value rocket further.

The 22-year-old rightly earned high praise for tearing Norwich apart on Tuesday night in a 2-0 win which put Tottenham seven points off the top of the table with a match in hand.

Rather than worry about any pressure lauding Bale will have on the player, Redknapp continues to lavish praise on his star.

"He is a boy that thrives on confidence," Redknapp said.

"You would rather have the manager tell you how good you are than the other way around.

"He is an amazing player. He has everything. He can run, shoot, head, dribble, score goals, make goals and you couldn't meet a nicer boy either."

With four home games coming up in January, Redknapp's team now have a chance to push for a first league title in 51 years, but the 64-year-old has warned his team that they face a tough fight to the death just to finish in the top four.

"It's so tight," Redknapp said. "There are six teams going for those four places. It will be a real scrap."