Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has insisted that the first-team squad would welcome the return of Thierry Henry to the club in any capacity, a Gunners legend who has already had a huge impact on the England international's career.
Oxlade-Chamberlain had been with Arsenal just six months when Henry made an emotional return to the club on loan from New York Red Bulls in 2012, but that six weeks spent back in North London was enough time for the enigmatic French forward to have a huge impact on the starlet.
Henry's drive and determination to set high standards in training are the kind of values that rub off on impressionable young players, with Oxlade-Chamberlain telling The Telegraph it was 'frightening' to see the veteran in full flight even towards the end of a glittering career.
When will Henry return?
The biggest insight was just watching him every day, seeing what a winner he was and how his standards were,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said. “You know when you see typical Henry, coming in from the left and you think: ‘He is just going to open up here and curl it in the bottom corner and score like he always does’?
“What I remember is when he missed one of those chances in training. I’ve never seen anyone be so angry with himself and disappointed. The first thing he would say was: ‘Titi, come on!’ It was just to himself out loud. It made you realise why he used to score them constantly.
"If someone else missed a chance in training that he believed they should have scored, he would let them know. Usually you have a go at someone if they do something wrong that concedes a goal. It made you realise what it takes."
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Sky punditry promises to be a treat.
The Gunners winger continued: “He gave us endless amounts of advice, he gave me endless amounts of advice,” Oxlade-Chamberlain says. “He gets that instant, massive respect because of who he is but everything he has told me is good, accurate, helpful advice.”
For now Henry has resolved to work on the Sky Sports sofa as a Premier League pundit, but has expressed a desire to complete his coaching badges and work with Arsenal once again.
Mentor Arsene Wenger is receptive to the idea and thinks Henry has a future in an active role with the club he loves, which is a proposition which clearly excites Arsenal's surprise ever-present this season in Oxlade-Chamberlain.
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