Arsenal and England forward Theo Walcott has been impressing the viewers lately with a series of good performances as a centre forward. The 26-year old has always been vocal about his desire to lead the line for Arsenal, and upon returning from injury at the end of the previous season he was given the chance to do so. He promptly demolished West Brom, netting an impressive hat-trick and showing off his abilities in a more central role.
Since then, he has gone from strength to strength. After Olivier Giroud was benched by manager Arsene Wenger for continued bad form, Walcott stepped up and has turned in a series of match winning performances. His displays against Leicester and Manchester United were crucial to our success in those games, and his pace and ability to link up with Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez opens up a variety of attacking options for Arsenal.
Needless to say, his performances have led to him being touted as a possible centre forward option for the England national side as well. Walcott is a regular starter for the Three Lions, but is deployed in a wide role for the most part. However, his recent performances come at the perfect time for him to claim a more central role. National captain Wayne Rooney is in a slump and has struggled to score for his club, while Harry Kane seems to be confused about which end of the pitch he needs to score at.
Walcott has received support from the likes of Thierry Henry. Speaking to Sky Sports, the legendary striker praised the “desire” and “unselfish play” of the Englishman (via Goal.com).
“He wasn’t selfish. He set up goals, held up the ball, showed a great awareness for Alexis Sanchez’s first assist in the game,” he said.
“He didn’t score but he was a threat. There was desire, two assists and the crowd loved it.
“With what he did against United and the way he has been answering the call recently – if he can play like that every weekend he has to start.”
Meanwhile, Walcott’s Arsenal teammate Francis Coquelin also backed him to lead the England line (via the Daily Star) saying, “When he is in this kind of mood he is not far off being unstoppable.
“It was not only offensively, what he did defensively was absolutely amazing. He was defending, chasing the ball. It makes things easier for us at the back.
“Can he do that for England? He shows everyone he can play in this role up front.”
Over the course of the last international break, Walcott scored twice as England ran riot against San Marino. He will no doubt be looking to notch up a few more goals for the national side; the only question is, where will he play?