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The Germany international would welcome the Gunners legend back to the Emirates Stadium and offers high praise to his national team-mate, also linked with a move to north London

Per Mertesacker believes that Arsenal should re-sign club hero Thierry Henry on a temporary basis and has hailed the quality Koln striker, and rumoured transfer target, Lukas Podolski.

Gunners legend Henry is currently training with the squad during the MLS off-season and rumours abound of a deal being done to bring him in on loan from New York Red Bulls until the start of their new campaign, while Germany forward Podolski has also been frequently linked to the Emirates Stadium of late.

Mertesacker told The Daily Mirror: “I am very happy training with [Henry], very happy. He is playing very, very good. I am happy to play against him in training and it is a great experience.

“He is a great opportunity for us, but I'm not the manager, I couldn't find a decision or what is possible for him or for us.

“In training he shows his class and to have him with us is great because he shows his attitude, his experience. He still has the same attitude he showed in a lot of games at Arsenal.”

Henry, 34, left Arsenal in 2007 to join Barcelona, having become the north London club’s all-time leading goalscorer.

Manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is considering a short-term loan move for the Frenchman to help cover for Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh’s imminent departure to the Africa Cup of Nations.

In the long term, Mertesacker added that he would be thrilled to be joined at the Emirates Stadium by his international team-mate Podolski. The 26-year-old has been reported to be on his way out of his hometown club.

“He is a great player, especially for the national team,” said the ex-Werder Bremen centre-half.

“He scores a lot of goals, he's a good striker with a very good finish with his left foot.

“His left foot is unbelievable and I'm a fan. This year, he has scored a lot of goals. He is powerful as well, he's a great player.”

Mertesacker also added that the Gunners squad are focusing on what lies ahead after their disappointing 1-1 Premier League draw with Wolves on Tuesday.

“It was a disappointing result for us. We had a chance to go into fourth place, but we didn't do that,” the German stated.

“But sometimes these are the situations in football. We don't have to think a lot about this because there are some big London games in the next week. We have to look forward and try to do our best.

“We had this chance to go fourth, but there are a lot of chances to come and we are ready to get in the top four.”

He also admitted that playing through the festive season was an adjustment after being used to a winter break.

“It is a little different from the Bundesliga, but you get used to everything in the world and, hopefully, in the next month I am improving more and more,” Mertesacker continued.

“Over Christmas and New Year it's new, but I enjoy my life in London very much.”

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