Henry heading back to MLS from Arsenal on time
Thierry Henry is heading back to the New York Red Bulls on time
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said last week that he may try to
extend the former France striker’s loan from Major League Soccer by
two weeks to bolster his scant attacking options.
But Wenger said Friday that won’t happen.
”I would have loved Thierry to stay for two more weeks but he
has to go back,” Wenger said. ”It’s only fair on New York.”
An extension would have made the 34-year-old striker available
for Arsenal’s Feb. 18 FA Cup match at Sunderland and a Feb. 26 game
against local rival Tottenham – a match crucial for local bragging
rights and Arsenal’s hopes of climbing back into the Champions
League qualifying spots.
But Wenger will mostly rely on leading scorer Robin van Persie
to lead the attack alone, although Gervinho will soon be back with
the club after his stint at the African Cup of Nations with Ivory
Henry has only Saturday’s English Premier League game at
Sunderland and Wednesday’s Champions League match at AC Milan to
play before returning to New York on Feb. 16.
The MLS season starts March 10.
Henry rejoined the club he quit in 2007 on Jan. 6 after training
with the Gunners during the MLS offseason. He has scored twice in
five substitute appearances over the past six weeks to extend his
club-record haul to 228.
Speaking after Henry scored the final goal in last weekend’s 7-1
win over struggling Blackburn, Wenger said Henry had lifted the
club since returning.
”How much, you can never give a percentage, but he was very
positive and everyone takes his advice on board because he has
delivered here and they want to deliver, too,” Wenger said. ”He
is respected and he was very positive.”