Theo Walcott’s contract saga dragged on for much of the 2012/13 season until he finally signed ‘da ting’ in January last year. It has been one of the rare situations where we’ve actually come out on top in recent years.
The Gunners have seen players such as Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie force their way out of the club while Bacary Sagna and Lukas Fabianski are set to exit after Arsenal failed to tie them down to new deals. Mathieu Flamini famously left the club on a Bosman free back in 2008, and many had feared Walcott was set to do the same with his contract dwindling down last year.
The England international now receives £100,000 a week, and despite his absence for large portions of the season he remains a massive player for the club but is only tied down to 2016. This summer represents his second to last of his contract where he remains safely within our grasps, however come the end of next season we will be back to square one with him.
Now is the time to offer Walcott an extension similarly as they’ve done with Laurent Koscielny and Aaron Ramsey in recent months. It may be difficult to justify increasing his pay package significantly as he’s already one of the top earners at the club, but certainly the length needs to be reconsidered.
His three and half year deal seemed slightly underwhelming, but the important part was to tie him down before his deal ran out. The main factor to signing something under four years (the seemingly standard amount for a player of his age) was whether Arsenal would become a major contender for the Premier League title and within Europe again. This seems to be the case and if we can add another couple of years to his current terms then we may be able to sleep a little easier next summer.
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