LONDON — Arsene Wenger claimed Thierry Henry had added to his legendary status at Arsenal with his late winner in the FA Cup tie against Leeds United.
The 34-year-old — back on a two-month loan deal from New York Red Bulls after leaving Arsenal for Barcelona in 2007 — scored 10 minutes after coming on as a substitute to give Arsenal a
1-0 victory and a place in the fourth round against Aston Villa.
Henry showed his class with a composed 78th-minute strike and the Gunners manager said: “He was already a legend here, but he added just a little bit more to the whole story with that goal.
“It was a little bit like a dream. It was a story you would tell young kids if you want to tell them a story about football.
“Unfortunately it doesn’t often happen like that in our game, but it did tonight.”
Henry, who scored his 227th goal for Arsenal, has signed for an initial six-and-a-half-week period which can be extended to eight weeks — but Wenger said no plans had yet been made to extend the stay.
“Thierry has seen it all and done it all,” said Wenger. “You could see straight away when he came on he was a presence and that if we could find him he would be dangerous. He is sharp physically.
“In training I have seen that he was sharp and ready to play. With what he has done here, I wouldn’t have put him on the pitch if he was not ready.
“That would not have been fair, but he is a special player and what is good for the club and the young players is that he is a guy who has done it all, but still prepares 100%, is motivated and comes with an immense desire to do well.
“He still feels some pressure, so he was so pleased to score. He is a proud guy — he doesn’t want to disappoint people. It is a kind of a comeback and you want that to be a success when you are a player.”