Martin Keown has explained why he thinks Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have returned to top form this season and says it has much to do with the departure of Jack Wilshere.
The midfielder has joined Bournemouth on a season-long loan in a bid to prove his form and fitness after an injury-ravaged spell.
Keown feels Wilshere’s exit has given the two England internationals the motivation needed to kick on and improve.
“I would suggest that Jack Wilshere going on loan to Bournemouth has spurred on both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott,” he told the Daily Mail when asked why both players were back tot heir best.
“What Arsene Wenger did in letting Jack go was very healthy – it allowed Alex and Theo to have a good look at themselves. They will have thought that they needed to start performing or they wouldn’t be at the club, either.
“That one decision has had a positive impact on three players and maybe the decision to sent Jack out on loan was taken with the bigger picture in mind.
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“It has certainly made Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain more focused.”
Walcott has certainly been impressive this season, the 28-year-old is the Gunners’ top scorer this season with eight goals and is thriving in the first team, particularly with Alexis Sanchez playing up front.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, meanwhile, was the start of the show on Tuesday night scoring both goals as the Gunners cruised into the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup with victory over Reading.