Arsenal have confirmed they will sign Thierry Henry on a loan deal, with the striker set to serve as a back-up to Robin van Persie in January.

Henry has been training with the Gunners for the past month, after the MLS season finished, and the New York Red Bull star is already having an effect on the squad, with players singing the prolific shooter's influence both on and off the pitch.

Yesterday Per Mertesacker told reporters of Henry: "I am very happy training with [Henry], very happy. He is playing very, very good. I am happy to play against him in training and it is a great experience.

"He is a great opportunity for us, but I'm not the manager, I couldn't find a decision or what is possible for him or for us.

"In training he shows his class and to have him with us is great because he shows his attitude, his experience. He still has the same attitude he showed in a lot of games at Arsenal."

And now Wenger has revealed that the deal for Henry "will certainly happen", telling reporters: "He knows the club, he can help the players and I know one thing: it can only be positive.

"He's 34, but still has class, quality and a football brain."

Wenger was cagey on the matter yesterday, responding to queries over Henry by saying: "There is no story and if we sign anybody we will inform you.

"I am 15 years in England. I have never told before I sign somebody the name of who I will sign."

Arsenal fans would no doubt be particularly excited at the prospect of Henry coming back to North London - the former France international has scored 226 goals during his time with the club in 1999-2007.

Henry captained the Gunners to the UEFA Champions League final in 2006, and though he left for Barcelona in 2007, the 34 year old was so loved by fans that he recently had a statue unveiled at the Emirates alongside Arsenal greats Tony Adams and Hebert Chapman.

Henry's current form at New York has continued to resemble a striker who can find the back of the net when most needed, with 16 goals in 37 appearances under his belt for the American side. And MLS strike partner Luke Rodgers believes that hitman will be as good for Arsenal as when he left the side.

"Thierry is pretty much the same player he was at Arsenal," Rodgers told the Daily Express of the legend.

"It's hard to say whether he has lost a yard of pace, but he's certainly still a lot quicker than me! I'm convinced he will be a big plus point for Arsenal and that he's still more than capable of playing in the Premier League.

"Everyone at the Bulls respects Thierry as a man and as a player. He is often the difference for us in games and still the one who pops up with that decisive goal or piece of skill."

While van Persie is currently on form, scoring 20 goals across all competitions this season, should the striker become injured, Wenger wil be desperate to add more depth to his squad in the absence of Chamakh and Gervinho.