As Thierry Henry leaves MLS, Arsenal return could be in the cards

With the Red Bulls exiting Major League Soccer's play-offs over the weekend, Thierry Henry has officially closed the books on his North American stay and leaves open the possibility of a return to Arsenal.
Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls were eliminated from the MLS Cup play-offs 4-3 on aggregate on Saturday. Elise Amendola / AP / November 29, 2014
Thierry Henry and the New York Red Bulls were eliminated from the MLS Cup play-offs 4-3 on aggregate on Saturday. Elise Amendola / AP / November 29, 2014

Thierry Henry’s decision to leave the New York Red Bulls has reopened the possibility of the French forward returning to Arsenal.

Henry, 37, joined the Major League Soccer club in 2010 following a successful playing career in Europe, where he was an integral part of Arsenal’s “Invincibles” side and also went on to win the 2009 Champions League with Spanish giants Barcelona.

The former France international, a member of Les Bleus’ triumphant 1998 World Cup-winning squad, revealed he would now “take the next few weeks to reflect” before deciding on his next career move after the Red Bulls’ MLS Cup campaign ended with a 4-3 aggregate defeat to rivals the New England Revolution in the semi-final Eastern Conference Championship play-off.

Even though he moved across the Atlantic, Henry has retained close links with Arsenal, where he is the club record scorer, and trained at the Premier League club’s Hertfordshire base before a brief loan spell during January 2012.

While it remains too early for any firm decision either way, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is expected to face questions about the prospects of another reunion at Tuesday’s scheduled press conference ahead of the Premier League game against Southampton.

Henry had hinted during a recent interview with French newspaper L’Equipe he could be interested in a future coaching role with Arsenal, and that he would “like to help” them win the Champions League, something which has eluded the North London club despite Henry helping them reach the final in 2006.

Before anything happens, though, Henry intends to have some time away from the game.

A statement from Henry on Monday afternoon read: “I am taking this opportunity to announce that unfortunately Saturday was my last game for the New York Red Bulls.

“The decision has always been that I would leave after the duration of my contract and although that was never going to change, I didn’t want it to distract from the progress of the team.

“I have immensely enjoyed my four-and-a-half years here and would like to thank everyone involved with this club who has made my time here so enjoyable.

“I will now take the next few weeks to reflect and decide on the next chapter of my career.”

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Published: December 2, 2014 04:00 AM

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