Thierry Henry will not rejoin Arsenal on loan, says Wenger

Veteran striker has been training with the club, but is not ready for another comeback

LAST UPDATED AT 11:11 ON Wed 2 Jan 2013

ARSENAL fans hoping to witness the third coming of Thierry Henry have been left disappointed after manager Arsene Wenger finally pulled the plug on a short-term loan deal for the veteran striker.

The Gunners' record goal-scorer had been training with his old club since the end of the Major League Soccer season in America, where he now plays for the New York Red Bulls, and there was widespread speculation that he would sign a temporary deal at the Emirates this month.

However, after Arsenal’s lacklustre 1-1 draw with Southampton on New Year's Day, Wenger added to the air of disappointment by announcing that Henry was "not ready" for an Arsenal return. "At the moment we are not on that case," explained Wenger when asked about a loan.

The manager even hinted that Henry would no longer be training with the club, saying: "I think he goes away somewhere."

There is puzzlement in some quarters over Wenger’s decision not to re-sign the striker. "Henry would have proved handy yesterday at St Mary's, where the Gunners mustered few chances of note," noted the Daily Telegraph.

The Guardian notes that Wenger criticised his team for showing what he called "a lack of desire and mental sharpness" against Southampton – just the qualities Henry could be depended on to deliver.

Although Henry will not be at the Emirates in person, his influence could linger. The 35-year-old had been working with Theo Walcott in training before Christmas and the young striker's first goal against Newcastle on Saturday bore all the hallmarks of the striker.

However, Walcott failed to convince against Southampton and, according to Eurosport, "proved he is still a work in progress up front... and showed a renewed tendency to shoot too early when there was precious little space." · 

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