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Henry returns to Arsenal as Red Bulls agree to loan deal

updated 8:36 AM EST, Fri January 6, 2012
Thierry Henry is Arsenal's all-time leading scorer with 226 goals for the club.
Thierry Henry is Arsenal's all-time leading scorer with 226 goals for the club.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Veteran striker Thierry Henry signs two-month loan deal with his former club Arsenal
  • Henry aims to return to New York Red Bulls for start of MLS season in March
  • He is Arsenal's record goal scorer during an eight-year spell in London until 2007
  • Henry says he does not expect to be given a regular starting role by Arsene Wenger

(CNN) -- Thierry Henry has assured New York Red Bulls fans that his return to English soccer club Arsenal will not interfere with his American commitments.

The former France international signed his long-awaited two-month loan deal with the London side on Friday, but plans to be back for the start of the Major League Soccer season in March.

"I always said I would not play in Europe again, but it is hard for me when it comes to Arsenal," the 34-year-old the Gunners' website.

"I am not coming here for the whole season, I will be back and I want to win the MLS Cup with the Red Bulls. I hope it is win-win situation where I can help Arsenal and come back fit for the MLS season."

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Henry returns to a club where he scored a record 226 goals before joining Spain's Barcelona in mid-2007, then moving to the Big Apple in 2010. A statue of the player has been erected at the Emirates Stadium to mark Arsenal's 125th anniversary.

I am not coming here to be a hero or prove anything. I am just coming here to help
Thierry Henry

"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," he said.

Henry was brought in by manager Arsene Wenger with strikers Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh going to the African Cup of Nations this month, but recognizes that he will be providing backup for a player who has this season taken his mantle as the team's most influential player and captain -- top scorer Robin van Persie.

"I am not coming here to be a hero or prove anything. I am just coming here to help. People have to understand that," said Henry, who has been training with the Arsenal squad since November and could make his first appearance in Monday's FA Cup tie against Leeds.

"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."

Henry joined Arsenal from Italy's Juventus in 1999 as an unproven raw talent, despite having already made his international debut and being part of France's World Cup-winning squad.

Wenger transformed him from a wide player into one of the most effective forwards of his generation.

"I am very happy. It was my desire and Thierry's desire," Wenger said of his former Monaco protege.

"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."

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