It seems like just yesterday we were being held to ransom by Theo Walcott, but history looks to be repeating itself already – the pacey winger apparently stalling on a new contract, as reported by the Express.
The 2012/13 contract saga with Walcott was a long and arduous one, and was not something we wanted to endure again any time soon. If reports are to be believed however, then we could be set for a similar struggle as we look to tie him down.
The 25-year-old is currently the longest serving player at the club, having joined as a 16-year-old back in 2006. He hasn’t reached the lofty heights that were initially expected of him, but he has still proved hugely important to us at times.
His current deal has just over 12 months to run, and we are unlikely to want to see him enter the final year. The England international is apparently refusing to discuss a new deal until the summer though, which will put us in a difficult position.
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He is already one of our highest paid players, currently earning £100,000 a week. It seems however, that he either wants more, or that he has his heart set on a move away from the Emirates.
We are in an entirely different situation this time around, as Walcott is no longer as vital to our success as he once was. Back in 2013 we were a side severely lacking in pace, and without Walcott we looked totally two dimensional. That is in stark contrast to the Arsenal team of today, which is brimming with pace and trickery – and is actually struggling to accommodate the speedster.
I have always been a huge fan of Walcott, but despite his many years at the club he is not the kind of player who reeks of loyalty. I would be disappointed if he forced a move away (especially on the cheap), but I would in no way be surprised.
He as spent the majority of the time injured since signing his last contract extension, so it seems ridiculous that he should demand an improved deal.
Walcott has seen his first team chances limited recently, and it seems it could have something to do with his contract situation. Arsene Wenger may be showing him that we are more than capable of succeeding without him, therefore reducing his leverage in negotiations.
It would be a shame to see him go, but if he refuses to extend then that seems like the only eventuality.