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Arsene Wenger on Thierry Henry's return and defensive consistency


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says former captain Thierry Henry will one day return to the club.

The 37-year-old has left the New York Red Bulls after four-and-a-half years in the Major League Soccer and revealed he will take a "few weeks" off to consider his future with L'Equipe quoting the striker as saying that he is ready to take on a consultant or executive role.

"I don't think he wants to do that [return to England as a player] again," Wenger said.

"He has given a lot, he has come out with an image that is fantastic. I'm not sure that he wants to play again in the Premier League.

"What I understand is that he wants to reflect for a while on how he wants to go into his next life.

"The only thing I would like to say is that I gave him his start at the age of 17 at Monaco, today he is 37 so he had 20 years of competitive football and that deserves high respect and congratulations. Not only for what he achieved but also for his attitude, his exemplarity and his focus on football.

"He has the right to reflect and think of what he wants to do now. He is an Arsenal man - the best moments of his life and career have been experienced here.

"Certainly one day he will come back here. In what role I don't know, that is what he has to think about: what direction he wants to give to his next life.

"He has all the qualities [to be a coach] because he is intelligent, committed, he loves the game. He just has to think, 'Do I want to sacrifice all the rest of my life to be involved in that job?'"

The Gunners host Southampton on Wednesday and the Frenchman insists it's vital to achieve consistency in the defensive department.

"We want to be competitive in every game," the manager said.

"We've just had two very competitive games and the team we face on Wednesday night is a team who is a good team and who have started very well. Of course our target is to beat them.

"Defensive stability is very important for us. Against Manchester United, [their] second goal was their first shot on target [and] in the 85th minute.

"I think we have been quite stable recently and that's what we want to continue. It's vital for us that we find our defensive stability, [which] we have not had since the start of the season."

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