It looks like Arsene is ready to call on the King once again in January to shore up a forward line that’s likely to lose Gervinho to the African Cup of Nations and Chamahck to any team Arsenal can pay to take him of their hands. Last year’s cameo proved successful; Henry’s comeback being a small moment of joy in a rather disappointing season. But another January loan move on the horizon for a team with money in the bank and trophy aspirations? Please no!
It’s not that I don’t like Henry – I love the man. If you ask my girlfriend, my parents and any of my friends, the only man I’d ever consider starting an intimate relationship with is Thierry Henry. He’s a walking, talking Arsenal legend and the best footballer I have had the pleasure to witness play in the flesh - from embarrassing Liverpool, United and Spurs with God-like ability through to somehow making a Renault Clio a sex object; the man is my world. But he’s not Arsenal’s world and it’s time Mr. Wenger realised this.
Thierry, despite his dashing good looks, is 35 years old. Of course he has had a great season with the New York Red Bulls, but a move back to the Gunners has to be seen as a mixture of desperation and a tightening of the purse strings rather than aspiration from Arsenal – the loaning of a player who was playing his best football over half a decade ago while the club has funds in the bank isn't the way forward. An injury to the in-form Olivier Giroud or the impressive Lukas Podolski would be piling a lot of pressure on a club hero who hasn't got the legs to lead the team anymore.
I must admit that I had a few goosebumps when I read the first few reports about the possibility of Henry returning in January but it’s time for Arsenal, and particularly Wenger and the board, to put their foot down in regards to this. Are we expecting Cesc Fabregas to make a cameo in the 2022 season when we’re struggling against an oil-rich Accrington Stanley and Tottenham are looking certain for the drop into League 2? There are better ways to dealing with the winter blues and a few million quid combined with Wenger’s already impressive scouting network should do the trick.
It’s not as if Arsenal need to break the bank to secure long-term cover for their attacking options. A few million for a hot prospect who’s willing to put in the work to fight the likes of Podolski and Giroud for a place in the starting line-up would sadly be a much better option than bringing Henry back. All this is being typed without even mentioning the prospect of Walcott or Oxlade-Chamberlain operating down the middle – the former making this closer to a reality with every game he plays.
This said, Arsenal shouldn’t ban the influential Henry from the dressing room. Having a player with so much history and with so many accolades around the younger players in the squad will do nothing but good; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson, Gibbs and Wilshere would all benefit from having the King lacing up his boots next to them on the training ground and being there to offer a wise word when things aren’t going right. Theo Walcott has previously spoken about the influence Henry had on dressing room morale last time he returned and even a brief stay – to help maintain his fitness – would be much more beneficial to a club that needs to be moving forward rather than clinging on to previous golden boys.
But whatever happens in the next month or two, I’ll keep myself busy by preparing my marriage proposal to the beautiful Frenchman.