Arsene Wenger has told the Guardian that he would love to see Thierry Henry return to Arsenal to take from Mikel Arteta one day, as he continues to cut his teeth in the world of management – but only after Arteta has won the Premier League.
It has now been two years since Wenger, 70, left Arsenal after 22 years as manager of the north London club. He is yet to take another management role in football, and is unlikely to do so going forward.
Henry, meanwhile, is currently at his second club as a manager after a brief stint with former side Monaco that saw the Gunners legend struggle to just four wins in 20. The 43-year-old has since moved to Canada, taking over at MLS side Montral Impact.
He has had slightly more success, winning five of his 14 games in charge – but he has a long way to go if he wants to manager Arsenal. Wenger is hopeful that happens at some point, but only after Arteta wins the Premier League title.
“I hope that Thierry Henry is successful in his career as a manager, and if he’s successful as a manager he might one day come back to Arsenal,” Wenger said. “But I especially wish that we go back to win the championship before that happens.
“For example, now we have Mikel Arteta in charge, why should we not do it? A club is about identity. Identity is about values and values are about the people who carry these values. And so it’s important there is a continuity on that front for me.”
TBR’s view – Henry needs to improve greatly as a manager
Just nine wins in 34 games as a senior manager is not the kind of form Arsenal will entertain when it comes to appointing Arteta’s successor. The Gunners are hardly going to consider an MLS manager either, even if it is Henry.
The French icon needs to return to Europe when given the chance to cut his teeth and have a second crack at one of the continent’s best leagues – and prove he has what it takes. Then, and only then, should Arsenal consider him.