Theo Walcott’s future at Arsenal hinges heavily upon whether he is gifted a regular centre forward position in Arsene Wenger’s team and a Christmas deadline has been set for the player to agree a new deal.
Walcott scored a hat-trick when selected as a striker in Arsenal’s 7-5 epic comeback against Reading in the League Cup on Tuesday, but the lack of first team action in the league has left the 23-year-old reluctant to commit his future to the Gunners.
In response to Walcott’s demands, Wenger has stated: ‘I have always said it is important that he plays in the right position and that certainly would be through the middle in the future. He showed that again on Tuesday night.’
‘The positions on the flanks are changing, you need to do a lot of defending. He should be dedicated more to offensive work. He has good pace, makes excellent, intelligent runs, and what has changed with Theo is he’s become a very good finisher.’
After a five year new contract was rejected by Walcott in August he has been linked with a move away from Arsenal, with Liverpool been cited as potential suitors. His existing contract runs out next summer and Wenger has stated his intent to resolve talks with Theo by Christmas.
Wenger said: ‘There is urgency. We want to sort it out before Christmas, one way or the other.’
Illustration by Ned Wilson of WhimsyWoods