The 38-year-old has been acting as a mentor for Arsenal’s academy players of late and has now officially been given a coaching role in the club’s U18 setup.
Thierry Henry will become assistant manager of the Arsenal under-18 team next season, according to Goal.
The exclusive report says that the Frenchman, who completed his UEFA ‘A’ coaching licence requirements under the guidance of the Welsh FA in March, is now able to manage at a team below Premier League level and is expected to become Kwame Ampadu’s No.2 from next season.
Henry is Arsenal’s all-time record goalscorer and was the driving force behind their last two Premier League title triumphs in 2001-02 and 2003-04. Apart from two league triumphs, the Gunners also won three FA Cups and were runners-up in the UEFA Champions League in 2005-06 — all within the eight-year span of Henry’s time at the club.
While Henry will officially be joining the coaching staff, he will also continue his punditry for Sky Sports. This appointment lays the foundation for the Frenchman to rise through the coaching ranks and possibly succeed Arsene Wenger as manager of the prestigious North London club.
Legends turned mentors
Certain players’ association with a club extends beyond their playing days, as they take their leadership skills and footballing intelligence off the pitch and onto the managerial hot seat. The most renowned recent example is Pep Guardiola, who has set the bar as high as it can get by moulding one of the best teams in history at Barcelona.
His successor Luis Enrique continued in the same vein, winning the treble with Barca in 2014-15. This season Zinedine Zidane took over at Real Madrid and has already led Los Blancos to an emphatic El Clasico victory as also to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. Their success in La Liga hasn’t been emulated in the Premier League though, with players like Ryan Giggs still waiting for their chance at their respective clubs. Thierry Henry is now on the path, but it remains to be seen whether he can be as revolutionary a manager at Arsenal as he was a player.