Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Thierry Henry will one day return to the club after the ex-France international confirmed his departure from New York Red Bulls.
Henry announced on Monday 1 December that he will leave the Major League Soccer side after four-and-a-half seasons but the 37-year-old striker is still to decide whether he will seek another club or retire.
But, regardless of Henry's decision, Wenger believes the Frenchman's future will be with Arsenal in a playing or coaching capacity.
"Thierry wants to reflect before he decides," said Wenger. "I made him start at 17; today, he's 37. That's 20 years of competitive football. He deserves respect for his attitude and achievements.
"He's an Arsenal man; it was the best moment of his career here.
"Certainly one day he will come back. As for what role, I don't know. He has all the qualities - he is - he has to think do I want to sacrifice all my life to do this job. At 37, I think he doesn't want to play in PL."
Meanwhile, Wenger faces being without any senior full-backs for the visit of Southampton on Wednesday after admitting Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal are doubtful for the Premier League encounter.
Both players were forced off in the win over West Bromwich Albion with respective hip and knee problems and, along with midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, could miss the visit of Saints.
Meanwhile, Mathieu Debuchy and David Ospina are a week away from resuming first-team training after spells out with ankle and knee injuries, while number one goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny remains out. Yaya Sanogo is back in contention, however, after hamstring trouble.
"We have some question marks about Monreal, Gibbs and Chamberlain," Wenger said. "I'm hoping that one of Gibbs or Monreal will be available.
"Szczesny is still out, Debuchy and Ospina are one week away."