Thierry Henry has been confirmed as the new Monaco manager after signing a three-year deal, the club where he began his professional career as a player back in 1994.
Monaco are 18th in the French top-flight after winning one of their first nine Ligue 1 games. They are 19 points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain while they also lost their first two Champions League group games against Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.
Henry’s first managerial job, therefore, will not be straightforward. Leonardo Jardim was sacked by Monaco this week but the former coach was handicapped by another year of significant sales in the summer transfer window.
Henry rebuffed advances from Aston Villa and Bordeaux during the opening months of this campaign but was lured by the attraction of returning to Monaco — the club he joined at 16 and for whom he made 142 appearances.
Henry has been assured of a significant transfer budget while he also told Monaco officials that he is committed to the club’s policy of developing young talent.
Henry has prised Kwame Ampadu, an Under-18 coach at Arsenal and the father of Chelsea’s Welsh midfielder Ethan, away from the London club and he has added Benfica’s Under-23 coach Joao Carlos Tralhao to his backroom staff.
Negotiations are continuing with the Rennes’ reserve coach Julien Stephan, who Henry hopes to appoint as his assistant.
Henry, 41, will begin his reign with a visit to Strasbourg next weekend while he comes up against former Arsenal team-mate Patrick Vieira when Monaco host Nice in December.
Henry said: ‘It is with great pride that I am delighted to announce I have accepted the position as manager of Monaco. I was fortunate to receive some very attractive offers over the past few months but Monaco will always be close to my heart.
‘Having started my footballing career at this great club, it felt like fate that I now begin my managerial career here too.’
His mentor Roberto Martinez said: ‘That Thierry would one day leave us was inevitable. I am very pleased with the great job he did for us and I am grateful to him. He has created memories for life and he will always receive the support and respect of Belgian football.’