Fulham Boss Martin Jol Praises Arsenal Capture Of Thierry Henry: He Is Fantastic & I Would Have Asked Him To Play If He Was Training With Us

The Dutchman went on to rule out a transfer for England international striker Bobby Zamora, insisting reports linking him with a move away are merely speculation

Fulham manager Martin Jol has hailed Arsenal’s loan deal for Thierry Henry and said he would have signed the former France international if he had trained with his side.

Henry’s short-term loan will see him back in London until March as the 34-year-old bids to keep his fitness levels up during the MLS’ end of season break, and Jol admits that had he not already been training with Arsenal, he would have liked to have signed the striker himself.

Arsene Wenger will not be able to call upon the services of the former Barcelona man when Arsenal play Jol’s Fulham on Monday, but the ex-Tottenham manager believes it is a great signing.

Speaking to reporters after the 1-1 draw with Norwich City on Saturday, Jol said: “It is fantastic. He is a legend. I played against him with Spurs [as a manager] and he was always making the difference as a player.

"I remember we were 1-0 up at Highbury in 2006 and it was one of the last games they played there, Henry outplayed Paul Stalteri and scored the equaliser late on. He is a fantastic player.

“He was training there but I don't think a lot of people saw that coming because a couple of months ago they said they weren't thinking about it.

“But if he trained with us I would probably ask him as well.

“He will sit behind me [in the stands] and we will have to focus on the game. The last time we did well against them and hopefully we can do the same.”

Jol also insisted there is no truth in recent reports linking Bobby Zamora with a move away from Craven Cottage, with stories suggesting the England international is not happy at the club.

“That is all speculation,” he claimed.

“Nobody told me anything. Nobody contacted us.

“Zamora and [Andy] Johnson are injured for the last week. Hopefully everybody will be all right and we will train as usual and we will see what happens on Monday."

Ahead of Fulham’s upcoming clash with Arsenal, Jol is adamant there is no problem between him and Wenger after a touchline altercation back when the former Hamburg boss was in charge of Spurs, pointing out the two had met several times since.

“I met him before a couple of times in Switzerland so there is no problem there,” he explained.

“The rivalry between Tottenham and Arsenal is a big thing, but Monday is a London derby [as well]."

Jol went on to praise one of his own players, 18-year-old Swiss youth international Kerim Frei, with the attacking midfielder putting in an impressive display against Norwich and his manager is of the belief he could become a star, refusing to rule out comparisons with Gareth Bale.

He continued: "I had Bale when he was as young as Frei and Bale is a great player.

"I think Frei could be one [a star]. He is different [to Bale].

“He is right-foot, Bale is left-footed, but he has got confidence and he is not like other young players – play well, play bad, play well – he is always the same.

“So that is great to watch and he has got real pace."

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