With the Gunners suffering their worst start to a Premier League campaign in Arsene Wenger's 16 years in charge, the shareholder feels the striker can change the club's soul
The 35-year-old has been training at the Gunners' London Colney base since the conclusion of the MLS season and Goal.com exclusively revealed on December 5 that Henry has agreed to rejoin the Gunners for a second loan spell, with the club suffering their worst-ever start to a league season in Arsene Wenger's 16 years in charge.
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"I don't have any powers in terms of decisions at the club but there are a few players with whom I am in contact," Usmanov told L'Equipe.
"My favourite is probably Thierry Henry. Thierry should be involved at the club but not as a player. He has another role to play, a more important role. Take the example of Patrick Vieira at Manchester City. He is also a symbol of Arsenal but he is helping another club. We have to avoid that with Thierry."
Henry scored twice in seven appearances for Arsenal in a short-term loan deal last season but, despite this success, Usmanov feels a similar deal will not reap the same rewards.
He continued: "The presence of a champion can radically change the soul of a team. That’s what Thierry showed last year when he came back to Arsenal but I think that comebacks only succeed once. That’s why I think the decision to come back belongs only to Thierry Henry."