Arsenal Transfer News: Thierry Henry Loan Deal Would Not Save Gunners' Season
Stuck in seventh place in the Premier League table after perhaps the worst start in club history, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is expected to make sweeping changes to the roster in January's upcoming transfer window.
Among those changes, which include possibly adding two new players, is something that will certainly pique fan intrigue. According to the Daily Mail, Wenger is considering bringing back legendary striker Thierry Henry back on loan:
A loan [for Henry] is still a possibility, but we will still try to strengthen for the long term.
Henry is the talent that you dream to have. He has fantastic physique, fantastic technique, a fantastic brain, all built together in one man. At the start he was not confident enough but he has gone on to show what a great player he is.
Henry, who spent much of his elite seasons (1999-2007) with Arsenal, has been playing his third season for the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer. The 35-year-old striker also made a brief appearance last season with Arsenal on loan from the Red Bulls.
Unfortunately for the Gunners, adding Henry would not be the lightning rod that saves the 2012-13 campaign.
As the team saw during his brief stay earlier this season, it would not be getting the Henry who captured hearts at Emirates Stadium during his prime. Though still a solid player in MLS—his 15 goals this season are fifth in the league—he no longer possesses the skill-set necessary for elite international competition.
In his seven-game run with the club last season, Henry scored two goals and was seldomly used in extended minutes.
For those who have followed Henry's career, those struggles are nothing new. He was mostly a bust during his time with Barcelona and landed with the Red Bulls simply because no elite club wanted him.
Bringing back Henry for another run would simply do more to damage his legacy with the club.
If you're looking for a solid comparison (albeit at different positions), Ryan Giggs' current relationship with Manchester United fans is perfect. While Red Devils faithful respect everything the legendary midfielder has done in his career, Giggs has become a source of major derision among fans.
A return to Arsenal would wind up bringing nothing but similar sentiments from Gunners fans, a group that is already on the brink of mutiny.
At this point, Wenger seems ready to try anything. Coming into this week's slate of matches, Arsenal has five wins, six draws and three loses, and its 21 points are five out of being in the top four.
With all of the criticism mounting about Wenger's nonchalance after the previous transfer window, adding Henry would make a relatively big statement. He's a guy who brings back memories of the good times and carries more big-name clout than just about anyone in the world.
In the end, though, that's all Henry is—a shiny distraction. If Arsenal hopes to salvage this sinking season, it will need a far more impactful transfer, such as Alessandro Matri or another similarly skilled goal-scorer.
Adding Henry would simply exacerbate the problem, bringing cascades of scorn raining down upon the legendary player and manger. With the season already hanging in the balance, that's an outcome that will benefit no one in the long term.
It's best that both sides just move on from the past and stop trying to create a spark that will never come.
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