Theo Walcott seems to be once again stalling on a new deal, and some recent quotes from Arsene Wenger have suggested that things aren’t exactly running smoothly, as reported by the BBC.
The 25-year-old has been restricted to the bench recently, and has missed out on a number of key games. Wenger insists he is simply being cautious with him, but the fact that he was playing (and scoring) when he first returned from injury suggests there is more going on.
He was particularly difficult in 2013 when we tied him down to his current deal, and it seems we could be in for another drawn out saga.
Wenger is not usually so open in the press about his frustrations, but his latest comments definitely saw him a step away from his usually calm and cryptic demeanor.
“We have started very early with him,” he said.
“He is very quick on the pitch, but off the pitch not always.
“Walcott was difficult to convince [in 2013] and that is why it took us much time.
“I always wanted to keep him and I still want to keep him now.
“I want him to stay and be a regular player and fight for his place, but no matter where you go if it is a big club you have to compete for your place.”
The England international has certainly proved important for us at times, but it’s no secret that he doesn’t always offer as much defensively.
He isn’t as vital to us as he once was, and so his bargaining position in negotiations is significantly weakened.
The speedster needs to accept that he isn’t an automatic starter, and that every player needs to work hard to make the team. If he continues to stall then he could find himself on his way out of the club this summer, as with just over a year left on his current deal, Wenger is unlikely to want to risk losing him for nothing.