January 29, 2013
IT WASN'T THAT CLOSE
Report: Henry says a loan to Arsenal wasn't close to reality
Remember all those stories on whether Thierry Henry was possibly going on loan from the Red Bulls to Arsenal over the past several months?
Well, it was more speculation that anything else because the Red Bulls captain and striker said he did not come close to returning to the English Premier League club this winter.
"It was never in the air [that I would return], despite the speculation," Henry told Al Jazeera. "I never spoke to the boss about it and he never mentioned it to me so it was not an issue."
The boss is Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
In fact, the 35-year-old Henry said he was surprised that he went on loan with the Gunners for six weeks in January 2012. He scored two goals in seven appearances for his former club.
"It was never meant to happen that I went back last year either," Henry told Al Jazeera. "I was just training and then it happened and it was great to play with great players, work under the manager again.
"I still love the club and I would say that in the eight seasons I played there, we had some great memories. There were some bad ones along the way, but you always try to remember the good ones."
The former French international reiterated that he expects to see out the remaining two years of his contract with the Red Bulls and Major League Soccer before retiring.
Henry admitted that playing in MLS could not compare with performing in the top leagues in Europe. He played in France, England and Spain, most recently with Barcelona before joining the Red Bulls.
"It's difficult to compare and I don't want to be harsh, but you cannot compare playing in the Premier League, in Spain, Italy or France and playing in the MLS," Henry was quoted by Al Jazeera. "I'm not having a go at the MLS, but you cannot compare.
"The league is progressing really well. We have a lot of players who want to come here now and when you see the commitment of a guy like [DAvid] Beckham, it is progressing."