Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has admitted that he only has one wish this Christmas - a return to the Emirates Stadium.
The world-renowned striker, who announced his intention to quit Major League Soccer side New York Red Bulls when his contract expires later this month, accepts that a return to the Gunners might not happen - despite Arsene Wenger’s recent comments that he expects the Frenchman to come back to the Emirates Stadium one day.
"Certainly one day he will come back here,” Wenger told reporters. “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."
Although it’s currently unclear whether Henry will hang up his boots after leaving the Red Bulls, the 37-year-old hopes to be back with his beloved Gunners in some capacity.
"That's the wish. Christmas is arriving soon, so it's a wish,” Henry was quoted as saying by ESPN. "It's not something that's going to happen like this. It is a wish. Everybody knows how much I love the club, my feeling about it. It is a wish right now.
"I'm not trying to get out of the question, but it's only a day now [since I announced my departure], so, yeah, it is a wish."
Henry might not retire
Henry was, however, keen to quash claims that his decision to leave New York meant he was all but certain to retire.
"I was always going to leave after four-and-a-half years,” he added. “That was always going to be the case, and that was never going to change.
"I had a blast. It wasn't easy at times, difficult at the beginning for me personally, but afterwards I embraced the league and I knew what the league was about. And I embraced New York, too."
Henry remains a firm favourite in the eyes of the Arsenal supporters and even has a statue outside of the Emirates Stadium thanks to his heroics during his eight-year spell with the north London outfit.
Henry scored 226 goals in 369 appearances for the Gunners, before making an emotional return during the 2011-12 campaign on a short-term loan deal. He played seven matches, scoring two goals in the process.
It’s highly unlikely that Wenger would take Henry back as a player. The Frenchman, who left Arsenal for Barcelona in 2007, is now in the winter of his career and is no longer the all-action centre-forward who lit up the Premier League for years.
Regarded by some as the greatest player in Premier League history, Henry was untouchable at his peak.
And thanks to his status as a bonafide Arsenal legend, his Christmas wish could well be granted by Wenger.