‘Contract-rebel’ Theo Walcott has revealed there are ongoing talks with the Gunners over a renewed contract and they will continue into next year, despite Wenger wanting a solution prior to the January transfer window.
Walcott produced an all action display as a centre forward against Reading, netting one but drawing a series of top quality saves from the Royals goalkeeper Adam Federici with his quick movement and powerful shooting.
The England international’s contract is set to expire in June 2013 which has lead to rumours linking him with all of the Premier Leagues top clubs, and it seemed that Wenger’s ‘Future Thierry Henry’ was slowly slipping out of the Gunners hands.
Arsene Wenger decided to start the fit-again Walcott as his main striker at the Madejski Stadium despite Olivier Giroud returning from injury too and it paid dividends. Naturally further speculation has mounted that he was played in his favoured position to help tilt the contract talks into Wenger’s favour.
But either way the 23-year-old insists his future will likely be at the Emirates as talks are ongoing. Walcott told Sky Sports:
Talks are ongoing. It’s going to be a slow process. It’s taking a long time but hopefully something will happen soon.”
I enjoyed playing up front. It’s about getting more opportunities and today the boss gave me an opportunity. I thought I did very well and the players around me always make my job easier.
We showed people the true Arsenal. We don’t really take notice of the outside. We’re a big family and we know our quality and that we’re good enough.
Walcott’s impressive display up front is likely to become more of a regular thing if he can continue to work hard and prove his consistency in the position, Wenger said that Walcott “Showed his abilities to play this position [in training]. The timing of his moves is good. I believe for his first game he has done very well in the position. Very encouraging signs.”
The positive signs are all there, it seems that the Englishman will remain at the Emirates once the financial necessities are sorted and he should hopefully get more chances up front after his all action display. Arsenal must not let him slip away, if he has high demands it is worth splashing out more money than selling him. They will get nearly nothing this winter, or loose him for free next summer and then Arsenal will have to replace Walcott which will incur a transfer fee plus high wages anyway.
He is slowly making the transition that he himself, and Wenger has always envisaged. Similarly to Henry, Walcott has been predominately a winger however as his finishing is nearly up to scratch and he has the movement down pact, Theo can be devastating through the middle.
Wilshere also chipped in his two cents, claiming that he has been “working all year” on convincing his compatriot to sign a new deal with the club he loves, speaking after the Reading match the central midfielder said: “That’s between Theo, his representatives and the boss but hopefully we can sign him up. He showed he can do it up front and hopefully he can play there in the future.”