Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has recalled his decision to lure Thierry Henry back to the Emirates Stadium. The French boss has said it was an "obvious decision" at the time, as it helped him address a shortage of options upfront and gave the club legend a chance to prove he still had it.
The former France international returned to Emirates Stadium on a two-month loan deal from New York Red Bulls in 2012, having left North London to move to Barcelona five years previously. Henry had been training with the Gunners during the Major League Soccer off-season, and Wenger did not hesitate to offer him a farewell bow after Gervinho went to play at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast.
Henry enjoyed a sensational return to the Gunners, scoring a late winner just ten minutes after coming on as a substitute in an FA tie against Leeds United.
"It was sensational – it was absolutely fantastic for him to come back and score," Wenger told Arsenal Player. "He's a legend here and to come back and score, it is like a resurrection. The vibes on the night were absolutely amazing."
The striker scored two further goals for Wenger's side, in the Premier League games against Blackburn and Sunderland, setting his final tally at Arsenal as 228 goals in 377 appearances.
"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."
Henry is now preparing to become a manager himself. He recently returned to London Colney as an assistant to help train the under-18s and under-19s.