Arsene Wenger looks to cool down frustration with under-fire attacker Theo Walcott by insisting to the fans that the English attacker will put in a better season for the ongoing campaign.
The 27-year-old Three Lions ace made 28 appearances last season in the Premier League, twice what he managed two campaigns back in 2014/15, yet on both occasions he found the back of the net only five times. As a result, many supporters were left angered by the speedy forward, with many calling for Le Prof to sell him.
The Arsenal boss, however, has a different opinion, admitting to Arsenal Player after Saturday’s 3-1 win over Watford that he expects 2016/17 to be the season in which the Gunners’ number 14 turns things around.
“I said before the season started that we will get a different Theo Walcott this year. If he can maintain that focus, that desire and that fighting attitude then he will have a great season.
“I hope he has no setback because he is an intelligent player, he is focused and has a great desire to prove his critics wrong and he’s on a good way.”
In all honesty, Walcott has begun the season fairly well, scoring the north London outfit’s first goal at home and of the new campaign in the 4-3 loss to Liverpool. In the weekend triumph, Theo put in a lovely assist for Alexis Sanchez to double their lead, with Ozil adding the third shortly afterwards.
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However, whether the Englishman would even get game time is up for discussion, as Lucas Perez’s inevitable arrival could spell the end of the former Southampton youngster’s starting eleven days. With Wenger confirming that the deal for the Spaniard is all but done, a spot in Arsenal’s attacking three will be hard to come by.
Of course, there is a chance Le Prof might drop Olivier Giroud for Alexis Sanchez, leaving two wide positions for both Walcott and the incoming Perez. However, Arsene is unlikely to bench the French striker given that he was their top-scorer last season.
The end may could be near for the longest-serving player in Arsenal’s current squad.