Wenger summons Henry for quick fix

Arsenal's record scorer returns on a two-month loan to try to solve striker crisis

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The Independent Football

Arsène Wenger yesterday confirmed that Thierry Henry would return to Arsenal on a two-month loan deal and is likely to be fit to play in a fortnight, meaning he should be available to face Manchester United next month.

Arsenal are in dire need of striking cover as two of the club's three main strikers, Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh, will be absent for up to seven weeks from the middle of next month as they compete in the African Cup of Nations.

It is a gamble for Wenger to turn to the 34-year-old Henry, who is available on a short-term deal because Major League Soccer in the United States, where he plays for New York Red Bulls, is in the off-season. But it is one the manager thinks is worthwhile, both on the pitch and in the dressing room.

"We need a short-term solution," the Arsenal manager said. "He has the quality and capacity to help us out. You do not find players on the planet of this quality who are available for two months."

Henry is Arsenal's all-time leading goal-scorer, having found the net 226 times in 369 games for the club between 1999 and 2007.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have agreed a £7m deal with Bolton to buy their highly rated centre-half Gary Cahill, but they are still a long way from agreement with the player over personal terms, the Chelsea manager, Andre Villas-Boas, said yesterday.

"We're still miles apart regarding agreement with the player," the Portuguese said. "We will continue to monitor this situation, as we continue to monitor the other targets for this position."

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