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Henry's Impact sign Barcelona talent Tabla

12:20 AM WAT 16/01/2020
Ballou Jean Yves Tabla Montreal Impact
The new coach in Montreal is busy building up his squad, and a familiar face has committed to the club from the Blaugrana

Montreal Impact head coach Thierry Henry has returned to his former club Barcelona to sign Canada international Ballou Tabla on permanent terms.

Winger Tabla left the Impact as an 18-year-old to join Barca in January 2018, becoming a member of the club's B team.

Tabla departs Camp Nou after two years of a three-year deal, however, having been unable to make a first-team breakthrough.

The 20-year-old had a €25 million (£21m/$28m) release clause in his contract to protect Barcelona in the event he developed at a rapid rate.

Such a rise to stardom did not materialise, and there was no mention of any fee in a statement from Montreal that said Tabla had returned to them on a two-year contract, with two option years.

Impact sporting director Olivier Renard said: "We are happy to have Ballou back with us following this transfer. The talent of this young Quebecer was never put into question. Now it's up to him to do everything and bounce back."

Tabla played 30 games for Barcelona B and had a loan spell with Albacete before joining Montreal on a temporary basis last August, making four MLS appearances.

That return is now a full-time arrangement, with Tabla set the challenge of earning a regular place in Henry's team.

Impact will be Henry's second managerial role after he struggled in his first with Ligue 1 side Monaco - only lasting a little over three months before being sacked.

From 20 games in charge of Monaco, the Arsenal legend won four, drew five and lost 11.

However, Henry believes his previous stint in MLS as player with New York Red Bulls means he will able to settle as a manager in the competition quicker.

"It’s an honour to be named head coach of Montreal Impact and to come back to MLS," Henry said when he was appointed in November. "It’s a league that I know well and where I spent some good times

"To be in Quebec with Montreal, which has an enormous multicultural heritage, it’s something extraordinary. I’ve always had an eye on this club and now I’m here."

The 2020 MLS season will begin in February.