Former Arsenal legend Thierry Henry is reportedly set to be named manager of the France U21 team. Le Parisien is reporting that the French Football Federation (FFF) handpicked the former striker to take the position. There is currently a vacancy on the U21 France team following the dismissal of Sylvain Ripoll. The former Lorient manager was also previously in charge of the French Olympic squad in 2021 as well.

star striker proclaimed desire to manage again

Henry has made it clear that he wants to return to management. In fact, he spoke about the opportunity to perhaps even run the USMNT back in February. While discussing his future during Champions League coverage on Paramount+, Henry stated that he was ready to be a manager once again. This would affect his role with the popular CBS Sports coverage.

CBS Sports host Kate Abdo directly asked Henry if he would want the USMNT job during the telecast. “Would I put my name in the hat? First and foremost, that’s a tricky one to talk about,” replied Henry. “Roberto Martinez went to coach Portugal and I’m not going with him. Being a number two is no longer something I would like to do.”

“Massive respect for the boss, he gave me an opportunity when no one else did. I’d like to have a crack [at management] again.”

Thierry Henry brings up-and-down experience to France U21 side

While he may not have received the USMNT position, Henry looks set to finally get back to being a manager again. The former forward previously took over at a struggling Monaco team back in the fall of 2018. The Ligue 1 outfit sat 18th in the table at the time of Henry’s hiring. However, the club continued their dismal display under the legendary player and the team ultimately made another managerial change just three months later.

After a brief hiatus from coaching, Henry was then named head coach of MLS side Montreal ahead of the 2020 season. The Frenchman led the Canadian club to their first playoff appearance in four years during his lone campaign in MLS. Henry decided to depart Montreal in February 2021 for family reasons.

The France U21 team is widely regarded as one of the top youth teams in all of Europe. The team’s current roster consists of budding stars waiting for their turn with the senior France squad. This includes Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise, Lyon’s Max Caqueret and Montpellier forward Elye Wahi.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Action Plus