more about http://charlieacourt.com/wp-includes/date.php geneva; font-size: small;”>The Frenchman had returned to north London initially with a view to maintaining fitness through training during the MLS off-season.
However, the New York Red Bulls striker completed a short-term loan deal on Friday, ahead of the deadline to face Leeds in the FA Cup third round tonight, and Wenger admits it’s provided a boost to the other players.
“The players are happy that he is here. It is more to do with the interaction physically in everyday training. Of course, how much he wants it as well,” he told the official Arsenal website.
“I was convinced quickly [that he was still capable of playing in the Premier League] but I wasn’t sure that he would like the challenge. He knows that somewhere, people will look at how he is doing now.
Whilst the current spell with the Gunners is temporary, speculation has quickly mounted over the possibility of Henry returning on a more permanent basis in a coaching role.
Wenger was quick to play that possibility down though, and thinks the club-record goalscorer should continue playing for as long as possible.
“Let him play first and what he will do one day I don’t know. Play as long as you can in life,” he added.
“Life is still long enough after to coach – look at the state I am in, I took up coaching very young!”
Finally, when pushed on the sale of Henry to Barcelona back in 2007, Wenger admitted he was eager to keep the player, but couldn’t stand in his way from moving to a club destined for trophies.
“I wanted him to stay and he said, ‘look, you have a young team, they will be good in three or four years and I cannot wait. I have to go to a place where I have a chance to win’,” concluded the manager.
“He went to Barcelona, which was completely logical. At the time he was 30. We had the same scenario last year but the only difference was that the player [Cesc Fabregas] was 24.”