Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has received a major boost to his chances of playing centrally for England, as Three Lions skipper Wayne Rooney missed his second training session in a row on Wednesday morning (via the Guardian). The Manchester United man has been sidelined with an ankle injury that he picked up while playing against Arsenal on Sunday.
With the Euro qualifier against Estonia scheduled to be played on Friday, it is looking likely that Rooney will not be able to recover in time to lead the line for England; this puts Walcott in prime position for the job. His only competition will be from Harry Kane, but the Tottenham Hotspur man is out of form at the moment.
Speaking to the press, Walcott was cautiously optimistic about his chances.
“Being Wayne, he always wants to represent his country. He is always here and it’s great to see him”, he said.
“If he can’t – and he’s obviously got a little knock, we’ll know tomorrow if he’s able to train – the manager will make the decision.
“I am always excited to come away with England, especially this time. I feel good and think it is great opportunity to actually give me a chance.”
Considering that England have already ensured qualification from the group stages, there is no reason for national manager Roy Hodgson to risk playing Rooney if the player is not fully fit. In fact, this gives him the perfect opportunity to try out some new tactics and hopefully give Walcott a spell at centre forward.
The Arsenal man has impressed for the club lately while playing in that position, so much so that he has taken away the starting berth from Olivier Giroud. He would no doubt love to show the same level of performance for England, and considering the goal scoring form that he is in, maybe notch up a few more.