Thierry Henry open to third Arsenal spell - if asked

Thierry Henry refused to rule out a third spell with Arsenal - if he is asked - after grabbing a dramatic late winner against Sunderland.

Henry, who scored in stoppage time in the 2-1 win, returns to the New York Red Bulls after Wednesday's Champions League last-16 tie against AC Milan.

"If Arsenal need some help one day I will be around," Henry told BBC Sport.

Defender Per Mertesacker will miss the Milan game and will undergo a scan on Sunday to assess an ankle injury.

The German defender had to be stretchered off after collapsing as he tried to control the ball, with Sunderland's James McClean capitalising on Mertesacker's misfortune to give the home side a second-half lead.

Reflecting on whether McClean should have played on, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "I thought about it during the game after they scored, but you cannot demand that [play to stop] because you do not know if the guy has gone down through injury or because he slipped.

"It's just in the action, you cannot demand to stop."

Substitute Aaaron Ramsey quickly equalised for Arsenal before Henry, who had come on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, converted Andrey Arshavin's cross to push the Gunners into fourth.

Henry, 34, scored his 176th goal in 258 top-flight games for Arsenal. He said: "When you come on as substitute you want to help your team and change the game.

"The guy who scores gets the credit but the cross from Andrey Arshavin was perfect."

Arsenal's record goalscorer, re-signed for Arsenal on 6 January, having trained with the club during the Major League Soccer off-season.

Since rejoining, he has scored three goals in six appearances, including the winner on his second 'debut' against Leeds.

"You can never say never," said Henry, after he was asked whether this would prove to be his last Premier League game for Arsenal. "I felt just like a kid who scores his first goal for the team he loves."

Asked if Henry come back next season, Wenger said: "We will see next year. Maybe he might want to stop at some stage as well?

"It's a shame that a player of that quality is not in England or in Europe."

Henry leaves Arsenal on 16 February after the game against Milan at the San Siro in preparation for the start of the MLS season, which begins on 10 March, with the Red Bulls taking on Dallas.

Wenger added: "I hope he will add some more [goals] in the Champions League on Wednesday. Certainly he got us the three points in a very difficult game."

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill also joined in the praise for Henry: "He has been a terrific player in his time here - and he hasn't done too badly second time around as well."

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