Alisher Usmanov has backed Arsenal legend Thierry Henry to excel in "more important roles" at the Emirates, rather than return as an on-loan striker and try to resurrect the Gunners' flagging season.
"I don't have any powers in terms of decisions at the club but there are a few players with whom I am in contact. My favourite is probably Thierry Henry. Thierry should be involved at the club but not as a player. He has another role to play, a more important role. Take the example of Patrick Vieira at Manchester City," the Russian explained.
"The presence of a champion can radically change the soul of a team. That's what Thierry showed last year when he came back to Arsenal but I think that comebacks only succeed once. That's why I think the decision to come back belongs only to Thierry Henry," he added.
Usmanov, who owns 29 percent of the north London club, also insisted the presence of a champion like Henry could "change the soul" of a team but playing comebacks were not necessarily the answer.
The 35 year old ex-French international is reportedly in advanced talks to make a second consecutive January loan move to his former club and is expected to make a third debut, under Arsene Wenger, in the FA Cup tie against Swansea City in the first week of January.
Civil War in Arsenal
Meanwhile, in-fighting among Arsenal officials, present and past continues, with the latest comments coming honorary vice-president Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith. The Indian-origin peer was a 15.9 percent shareholder in the club until she sold the investment to American Stan Kroenke. And Bracewell-Smith has now tweeted her anger with Kroenke's decisions.
She said Kroenke made her feel "an outsider" and added there were better ways to make money than running a football club. She stressed football was a "business of passion" and Kroenke "had no passion for AFC".
The Arsenal first team, however, must now put all of this off-pitch drama behind them and get back to winning ways when they travel to the Madejski Stadium to face relegation-threatened Reading in a Premier League fixture. Wenger's men are seventh in the league, with only 24 points from 16 games and have won only once in their last six matches across all competitions.