Arsenal skipper Robin van Persie believes that club legend Thierry Henry’s decision to join his beloved club for a second time shows how brave he is.
The Frenchman recently put pen to paper on a short term loan deal with the Gunners and scored the winner in the 1-0 FA Cup defeat of Leeds United on his second debut at the Emirates.
Henry’s second Arsenal stint is scheduled to last a month and a half and he is expected to be in the squad that will take on lowly Swansea this weekend. In the Leeds United game, van Persie was rested but he is certain to start on Sunday, which means that there is a good chance that both of Arsenal’s former and current goal-scoring superstars could be on the pitch at the same time.
When Arsenal signed van Persie almost eight years ago, he was a diamond yet to be polished, while Henry was doing what the Dutchman is doing now- banging classy goals left and right past opposition goalkeepers.
The talented youngster of the past, who has now become the main man in North London, is full of praise for his idol’s brave decision to come back to the club where he has already achieved legendary status.
Speaking in a recent interview, van Persie said, ” Some people might ask why he chose to come back, because he is already a legend here. For me, it tells you everything about him; Thierry is coming back because he loves the game. If you asked 10 legends, whether they would come back, I am not sure they would have been brave enough.”
The 28-year old centre-forward continued, “Thierry knows things are at stake, he is remembered as a legend, but for him, it is simple – he loves the game and wants to be a part of the club he loves. I am sure he will get loads of games because I have seen him in training and I don’t want to put too much pressure on, but he is looking really good.”
While Henry was scoring the winning goal against Leeds, van Persie was holidaying in Dubai with his family. A break away from football is just what he wanted and deserved, after a year of almost nonstop football in which he scored an astonishing 34 goals. The Netherlands international is hoping that the short break will revitalise him to lead his club into the second half of the 2011/12 season.
“The good thing is that we have been able to have a little break over the last few days, which is always welcome at this time of year. I have been able to recharge the batteries a little bit, get refreshed and ready to go again. I’m looking forward to the year,” he added.
It is no secret that Arsenal are missing several key defensive players due to injuries and therefore, the return of centre-half Johan Djourou from suspension will be a timely boost for them ahead of their trip to the Liberty Stadium.
Earlier today, Arsenal were once again linked with a couple of left-backs in the British media. The two purported transfer targets of coach Arsene Wenger are Manchester City’s forgotten man Wayne Bridge and Aly Cissokho of Olympique Lyon, who are apparently entertaining bids for their prized wing-back.
Another man who could end up at the Emirates before the end of the winter transfer window is Chelsea’s Salomon Kalou, who has been on Wenger’s radar for quite a while. The Ivorian is out of favour at his present club and rarely gets to start a game for the Blues, which is why he might be willing to jump ships in a bid to resurrect his career.