Thierry Henry
Henry earned legendary status at Arsenal across two spells in north London.Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been urged to sign Thierry Henry for a third time by ex-forward John Hartson.

Henry will leave New York Red Bulls at the end of the current Major League Soccer season after four-and-a-half years with the club, but is yet to confirm whether he will continue playing or enter retirement.

With Danny Welbeck, Oliver Giroud and Yaya Sanogo the only out-and-out strikers available to Wenger, there could be an opportunity for Henry in the Arsenal first team with Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League commitments in the new year likely to test their squad depth.

And Hartson says the re-signing of the 37-year-old would be a "master stroke" after former captain Patrick Vieira opted to join Manchester City during the twilight of his career.

"Thierry is an inspirational figure who would be a role model for the younger players at the club,' Hartson told BBC Sport. "I think it would be a masterstroke if Arsene Wenger got him back.

"He is a legend at the club, their record goalscorer, and has a wonderful relationship with Wenger.

"Wenger said that Henry was an Arsenal man," Hartson added. "I thought [Patrick] Vieira was an Arsenal man and Arsenal lost him to Manchester City.

"I'm sure Wenger wouldn't want that again. When you've got one of the club's former greats available then Wenger maybe would have learned from losing Vieira that he needs to get Henry in."

Henry is the club's record goalscorer having netted 228 goals in 377 appearances across two spells in north London, his latest coming in a two month loan spell in 2012.

Wenger has already confirmed that Henry will return to Arsenal at some stage in the future but is uncertain over what position the France World Cup winners will fulfil.

"He is an Arsenal man," Wenger said on Tuesday. "It was the best moments, certainly of his life and of his career, experienced here.

"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."