Thierry Henry, Arsenal’s record goalscorer, will return to the English team on a two-month loan from Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls.
Henry, who scored 226 goals for the north London team before leaving for Barcelona in 2007, agreed last week to a two-month loan stint. The deal had been held up over negotiations of an insurance package.
“I am very happy,” manager Arsene Wenger said on Arsenal’s website. “We will have Thierry for January and in February. I am sure during these two months he will be a massive asset to the team in the dressing room and on the pitch.”
Henry, 34, will be available when Arsenal hosts Leeds in the third round of the F.A. Cup in three days. He’ll provide the club with coverage up front for strikers Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh, who will leave for the African Cup of Nations this month.
“It is unreal to be honest,” Henry said. “But when it comes to Arsenal my heart will always do the talking. Once I knew the plan behind it, I was OK with it.”
Henry, who helped the team win two league championships, started working out with the club after the MLS season ended in November. He’ll return to the Red Bulls in March for the start of the U.S. season.
“I am not coming here to be a hero or prove anything,” said Henry, who recently was honored with a statue outside the Emirates Stadium. “I am just coming here to help.”
Since Henry’s departure from Arsenal, the top striker’s role has been taken on by captain Robin van Persie. The Netherlands national team player leads the Premier League with 17 goals this season and scored 35 during the 2011 calendar year, one off the league mark set by Alan Shearer in 1995.
Henry was third in MLS with 16 goals last season. He joined the Red Bulls in 2010.