Henry completes Arsenal loan deal
Thierry Henry is free to line up against Leeds in the FA Cup third round on Monday after Arsenal finalised his loan move from New York Red Bulls.
Henry, 34, will return to his former club for two months, during which time he could feature in the Premier League against Manchester United, and in the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie against AC Milan.
He will head back to New York Red Bulls in March, shortly before MLS action resumes. The American league is currently in its off-season break - and Henry has been training with Arsenal to keep his fitness levels up. His performances have been praised by the current Gunners squad, with Robin van Persie saying the Frenchman has been "unbelievable".
Henry, who will wear the No. 12 shirt, said: "It is unreal to be honest. 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. I am not coming here to be a hero or prove anything. I am just coming here to help. People have to understand that. Marouane and Gervinho are going to the Africa Cup of Nations, so I was asked to fill in the gap. It is a loan deal and I'll be on the bench most of the time. If I can make the bench that is! The boss has a team here already who are doing something good. I am just going to be part of the squad."
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is set to lose Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh to the African Cup of Nations imminently, so the arrival of Henry comes at a useful time, particularly with Van Persie notoriously injury-prone and Park Chu-young still unproven in England.
Wenger said: "I am very happy. It was my desire and Thierry's desire. We will have Thierry for January and in February. Then he will go back to the United States. I am sure during these two months he will be a massive asset to the team in the dressing room and on the pitch. He can be relaxed, not under too much pressure and be a tremendous help to the team."
Henry, who is Arsenal's record goalscorer, left the club for Barcelona in 2007 - where he won the Champions League - before making the move to New York in 2010.
Wenger is also expected to bring in a defender during the January transfer window, given the club's current injury crisis at the back. Wayne Bridge of Manchester City and AC Milan's Taye Taiwo have both been linked with a potential loan move to Arsenal.
The French manager had been widely expected to rest much of his first team against Leeds, but says he will only rest a few players, inculding Van Persie, which could open the door for Henry.
"[I will play] a strong side, a normal side," Wenger told the club's official website. "Robin van Persie will certainly be rested for this game. We will hopefully have Chamakh available, Park available. Gervinho will maybe miss the game because they [the Ivory Coast players] have to turn up 14 days before the [Africa Cup of Nations] tournament starts."