Arsene Wenger explains why he signed Thierry Henry on loan in 2012

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Arsene Wenger has opened up on his decision to bring Thierry Henry back to Arsenal on a temporary loan deal in 2012, describing it as an "obvious decision".

The club's all-time top goalscorer was playing for New York Red Bulls in the MLS at the time and was granted permission to rejoin the Gunners for two months during their off-season.

Henry was thrown straight into action in an FA Cup tie against Leeds United and, in typical fashion, scored the winning goal. For anyone at the Emirates that night, it was a special occasion, including for Wenger.


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“It was sensational - it was absolutely fantastic for him to come back and score,” the manager told Arsenal Player. He’s a legend here and to come back and score is like a resurrection. The vibes on the night were absolutely amazing."

At the time, Arsenal fans were left unsure by the deal. In a similar situation to the current day, they were calling for a much more established and long-term striker to be signed in the window and many were left underwhelmed by Henry's return as a result.

Obvious decision

But Wenger has revealed that re-signing Henry was made obvious to him after he invited the legendary striker back to train with his Arsenal side. Then 34, he proved himself to still be at the required level to play at the top level.

Wenger continued: “The thinking behind [re-signing him] was that at the time I felt we were a bit short offensively.

“Thierry trained with us and I saw that he was still top class, which we all knew, but also that his motivation was intact. From then, for me it was an obvious decision.”

Back again

Henry is now back at Arsenal, but as a coach for the youth teams at their Hale End academy. The Frenchman is qualifying for his coaching badges with the Welsh FA and is fulfilling his work experience requirements with the Gunners.

Henry recently told Arsenal Magazine: "I'm obtaining my badges right now with the Welsh FA and looking to gain the A-licence. It goes without saying that I asked Arsenal if I could do that with them and be involved with the team.

"I asked the boss and he said to come, train with the Under-18s and 19s and help conduct sessions. I'm just an assistant at the minute, I'm not a coach but it's great, as you can imagine."

"It's the place I love, there's so much emotion for me here so this was always going to be where I wanted to start my coaching."

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Thierry Henry
Arsene Wenger
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