'He had me at hello' was one of the wittier headlines as Arsene Wenger announced his intention to bring Thierry Henry back to the Emirates Stadium on a two-month loan deal. Paraphrasing a famous line from the 1996 sports romantic comedy Jerry Maguire wasn't so far off the mark, with Wenger admitting he'd decided to re-sign his former favourite son on November 17. That was the day when Henry began training with the Gunners after arriving from the New York Red Bulls, with Major League Soccer (MLS) starting its close season. Securing the veteran Frenchman as cover for Africa Cup of Nations-bound strikers Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh makes perfect sense - and yesterday the clubs reached agreement over insurance and other terms. Henry's 14 regular season goals for New York were the third highest in the MLS. But it's a move that could sully Henry's sterling reputation as an Arsenal and Premier League legend. How might the fans react when it becomes obvious a man turning 35 this year is no longer the irresistible force he was as the talisman of the so-called Invincibles eight years ago? The Arsenal side of 2003-04 went through the Premier League season unbeaten to claim the title by 11 points, with Henry scoring 30 goals in 37 league matches and 39 in 51 games in all competitions. 'There's no disguising that Thierry Henry isn't the striker he once was,' said former Premier League goalkeeper Shaka Hislop. 'I would say he's 50-60 per cent of the player he was in 2004.' Hislop, best known for his days at Newcastle United, West Ham and Portsmouth, finished his career in the MLS with FC Dallas as a 38-year-old and is now a Connecticut-based TV pundit for ESPN International. 'Henry doesn't have the pace he once did, but he's still a quality player,' Hislop said. 'He still has the touch, the vision and is as identifiable with Arsenal football as anyone since Ian Wright. But in the end, he will be judged by the fans and the media by what he can deliver on the pitch.' One wag suggested that if Henry was returning to Arsenal after almost five years, then 74-year-old Sir Bobby Charlton should be coaxed out of retirement to bolster Manchester United's midfield. The Arsenal Invincibles were arguably the greatest side of the past decade, but several members perhaps played a little longer than they should have. When Sol Campbell rejoined the Gunners as a 35-year-old for half a season in 2010, he was clearly a shadow of his former self. Yet he still managed to make 14 appearances in all competitions, score a goal in the Champions League and pass his 200th game for the club. Also making his 200th appearance was 41-year-old Jens Lehmann, who came out of retirement and found himself starting at Blackpool in April last year when Manuel Almunia broke down in the warm-up. The German became the oldest Arsenal player in Premier League history. Patrick Vieira bossed the Invincibles' midfield but when he signed with Manchester City in 2010 as a 33-year-old, much of the swagger had gone. He made only 12 league starts over two seasons. Another former French international, Robert Pires, began just four matches - two of them in the FA Cup - during his return to England as a 37-year-old in 2010-11 for Aston Villa. 'A lot of the time senior players are brought to the club not necessarily for what they do on the pitch but what they add to the team off it,' Hislop said. 'That includes their experience in the dressing room, their ability to take the highs and lows as evenly as each other, plus their attitudes on the training ground. 'When it comes to Arsenal in 2012, Wenger needs Henry to be a leader and bring his experience to a dressing room that sorely lacks senior players.' Henry has admitted the Arsenal team of 2007 may have been better off without him when injuries limited his final season league goal return to just 10 and he'd left for Barcelona. Another factor is his one-time cool relationship with current top-dog Robin van Persie, whom he described as 'not the easiest guy to deal with' in a recent interview. But Hislop says the Frenchman will be happy to be a support act to the Dutchman, who broke Henry's Arsenal record of 34 goals in a calendar year by scoring 35 in 2011, second only to Alan Shearer's Premier League record of 36 set in 1995. 'Whatever goals Henry delivers is an added bonus. He's mainly there to give Van Persie the occasional break.' What happens over the next few weeks could change how the passing fans remember the man who was voted Arsenal's Best Ever Player in a top 50 poll and is immortalised outside Emirates Stadium. They just need to hope Van Persie doesn't break down with injury and Henry isn't asked to repeat his magic of a decade ago.