Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Tuesday that former great Thierry Henry will “certainly” return to the club in some capacity in the future.
Henry, Arsenal’s record goal-scorer, announced on Monday that he will leave Major League Soccer outfit the New York Red Bulls after a four-and-a-half-year spell in the United States.
The 37-year-old recently told French sports newspaper L’Equipe that he wants to “help” Arsenal win the Champions League and Wenger believes it is only a matter of time before he returns to the Emirates Stadium.
“He is an Arsenal man. The best moment certainly of his life and of his career has been experienced here,” Wenger told a press conference ahead of his side’s Premier League home game with Southampton on Wednesday.
“Certainly one day he will come back here. 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.”
Wenger added that Henry possessed the necessary attributes to succeed as a coach, saying: “Thierry has all the qualities because he is intelligent, committed, he loves the game.
“He just has to think, ‘Do I want to sacrifice all the rest of my life to be involved in that job?’”
Henry, a world and European champion with France, spent eight years at Arsenal, winning two Premier League titles and three FA Cups, before joining Barcelona in 2007.
He won seven trophies at Barcelona, including the 2009 Champions League, and moved to New York the following year, briefly returning to Arsenal on loan in January 2012.
Speaking after the Red Bulls’ 4-3 aggregate defeat by New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference Championship play-off, Henry said he would “take the next few weeks to reflect” on his future.
While Arsenal could in theory re-sign Henry as a player, Wenger played down the possibility.
Asked if Henry could still make a contribution on the pitch, he replied: “Yes, but 37 today in the Premier League… I don’t think he wants to do that again.”