Arsene Wenger has explained why Theo Walcott has hit his best form this season ahead of Arsenal’s Champions League clash with Ludogorets at the Emirates on Wednesday.
The England international scored twice as the Gunners beat Swansea 3-2 on Saturday to take his tally to the season to seven and top Arsenal’s scoring charts ahead of Alexis Sanchez.
Walcott’s form has also seen him recalled to the England side after being left out of their Euro 2016 squad and Wenger says he is playing with more freedom this season.
“He [Walcott] lets the passion come out of his body,” he told Arsenal’s official website. “He plays with more freedom, lets his heart feelings come out.
“He is less calculating. He plays with more desire. He is less restricted.”
Wenger was also asked if there was any interest in Walcott during the summer but insisted he never had any intention of allowing the 27-year-old to leave north London.
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He added: “I have not spoken to anybody because I was not ready to let him go.”
Saturday’s win saw Arsenal move level on points at the top of the table with Manchester City but Wenger says his team must now focus and remain consistent if they are to maintain a title challenge.
“It’s difficult to say, to predict. But what you see after eight games played — it’s tight,” he added. “That shows that it’s down to how well you can play in every single game to keep up there and to fight for the championship. We have to show that we can be consistent, I think the team is focused, the team wants to play the football we want, they believe in what we do and with our good ingredients after we have to show the desire, the hunger in every single game.”
Walcott’s return to top form has been a huge boost for Arsenal this season and fans will be hoping he can maintain his current run and his fitness as the Gunners aim to make it seven wins in a row in all competitions.