Walcott relishing Henry reunion

Arsenal's Theo Walcott has spoken of his excitement at the prospect of going toe-to-toe with former team-mate Thierry Henry in the Emirates Cup later this month.

French forward Henry is due to make an emotional return to Emirates Stadium on July 30 and 31, when his New York Red Bulls side battle with the Gunners, Paris Saint-Germain and Boca Juniors in the annual pre-season tournament.

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Walcott played with Henry during his first 18 months in North London, and has hailed the impact the French forward has had on his career.

"He's been a great influence to me so it will be nice to see his face," Walcott told Arsenal's official website.

"I think he changes his phone number a lot so it's tough to keep in touch with him! So many people want a bit of him but he will always be there for me, definitely.

"Thierry has always given me advice, telling me just to enjoy my football and not believe what people say about you. He told me just to go out and play my football and not worry about the hype. That's what I've been doing and hopefully it's working."

Walcott and the rest of the Arsenal squad are currently away on a pre-season tour of the Far East, and the England international is relishing the chance to return to London and play on home turf for the first time in over two months.

But he insists he and his team-mates won't be taking their opponents lightly.

"It will be great to play at the Emirates again and hopefully show the fans what we can do, that we're ready," he said.

"We won't treat the Emirates Cup games as friendlies, we don't treat any pre-season games like that, we like to go out there and win. If we win the Emirates Cup hopefully we can move on and win something bigger.

"We have two very exciting opponents. It's going to be an interesting battle on both days and, of course, it's nice to see Thierry come back as well."

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