It’s a done deal: Thierry Henry will be heading back to Arsenal for two months.
On Friday, Red Bulls GM Erik Solér, following earlier comments from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, confirmed to the New York Post that the 34-year-old French striker will suit up for the Gunners once more. It’s a move that would benefit everyone involved, Solér said.
“[The loan deal was] the total package,” the Norwegian told the Post. “[…] We feel it’s a good honor for a guy who’s been with us 18 months. This is something he thought he wanted to do, and it’s easy to see. And on [the] sporting side, it’s better for him to train at Arsenal than if we turn something like that down. I couldn’t find a single reason to say no.
“I was approached by them, and of course I wanted to check if that was what Thierry wanted, and make sure my ownership was happy with it. I did the necessary calls on my part, and on the sporting side both Hans [Backe, Red Bulls head coach] and myself think it’s a very good idea. Thierry will be working hard. He’ll be coming to our Phoenix trip. He’ll be coming straight from training and playing with Arsenal, which is a good thing for us. In the end, it’s very easy for us to see this as good idea.”
The agreement between New York and Arsenal for Henry should be finalized by Sunday. If so, Henry, who’s been training with the Gunners during the MLS offseason, would be available to take the field as soon as Jan. 2 against US international Clint Dempsey and Fulham in a crosstown matchup. Henry would rejoin New York by Feb. 20, in time for the team’s preseason training camp in Arizona.
“If it’s finalized, the idea would be to have him from Sunday, Jan. 1,” Solér said. “[Arsenal] have a Champions League game on the 15th [against AC Milan], and he would come after that.
"We think it’s good," added Solér. "He’ll come back high level and have a great experience."