Arsene Wenger has effectively ruled out the potential sale of Theo Walcott this summer, highlighting how important the speedster has been this season and how much more he believes Walcott has to give, as reported by Arsenal.com.
The Frenchman has suggested the demand for new faces and new names may well go unsatisfied, instead putting more stock in loyalty, cohesion, and long-term plans. This has been his mantra for quite some time, and it’s something Arsenal fans are getting tired of.
“I like that we live in a society where people always want new faces and new names, but we forget sometimes the loyalty, cohesion and the long-term phase that is needed in a player to be successful at the club,” he said.
“You need players through the generations and I’m very pleased with him.
“He’s been here for 10 years, that shows as well that he loves Arsenal and I’m convinced he will give us much more in the next five years than the last five because he is a player who is always moving forward and trying to do better. He has a very positive attitude.”
It’s hard to tell which games Wenger has been watching, as Walcott has really failed to impress this season. He showed the odd glimpse of real quality early on in the campaign, but since then has struggled to even nail down a regular spot. He’s been sidelined at the expense of Alex Iwobi, Joel Campbell, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and hasn’t looked like winning back his place any time soon.
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Wenger clearly still has a huge amount of faith in Walcott’s ability to deliver though, as the 66-year-old was full of praise for the out of form forward.
“Theo’s movement off the ball is great, so he depends a lot on the service he gets,” he continued.
“He has improved his team attitude and tactical discipline a lot. After that it depends a lot on if we dominate the game and the quality of the balls we get. He is very important in the way he goes behind the defenders.
“That is a quality you don’t find often anymore. It gives us something that is very important in our offensive game.
“This season I feel he has been very important to us and shown he has developed well.
“He is very intelligent and very motivated as well.”
Good service is obviously important for any striker, but with Mesut Özil you really don’t expect that to be a problem. Walcott’s decision making has often let him down though, with runs not made at the right time or offside traps catching him far too easily. He is also incredibly one dimensional, and unlike players like Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez, when he’s not scoring goals he really offers very little else.
Perhaps the only thing Walcott brings to the table when he’s not scoring is that fear in the opposition that his pace could punish them at any moment, potentially forcing them to adapt their game slightly.
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A huge number of Arsenal fans have grown sick and tired of Walcott’s inability to impress consistently, and if Wenger refuses to strengthen the team adequately this summer – instead relying on the possibility that players like Walcott will finally come good – then those same fans will turn on him again very, very quickly.