LONDON (Sporting Alert) — Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits that he would love to extend the loan of Thierry Henry, but said the French striker will return to the New York Red Bulls next week.
Henry signed a loan deal with Arsenal last month and he has been an impact on the side. He has scored twice in five games, including the vital winner off the bench against Leeds in the FA Cup third round.
“He was happy to be here and all the players were happy to have him around,” Wenger said on Arsenal.com.
“In training he looks better every week. He is now back to a fitness level comparable to all the other players. His movement in training makes me think it is a shame he does not play for the national team anymore.”
Henry’s impact led to speculations that Wenger would try to have his loan spell extended since the New York Red Bulls doesn’t play its first game of the new Major League Soccer season until March 11.
However, the boss revealed that Henry will head back to the United States on February 16 for pre-season training.
“There is clarification, it will be February 16 [when he returns]. The day after the game in Milan,” Wenger said on Arsenal.com.
“I would have loved him to stay for two more weeks but he has to go back. He is captain of the Red Bulls, so just to appear on the first day of the season would be unfair to them.
“We accepted at the start that we would release him on February 16 so we respect our word. He thinks as well that it would be too late [to remain for two more weeks].”
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