Arsene Wenger has hailed the impact Theo Walcott has made since he joined the club, as it’s now nine years to the day that he made his debut for us against Aston Villa, the boss told Arsenal Player.
After signing in January 2006, Walcott rather surprisingly appeared for England before we got the chance to see him don the Arsenal colours.
However, on the opening day of the next campaign – which signified a new era for us at the Emirates Stadium – Walcott was introduced to us and he immediately made an impact, with his cross leading to Gilberto Silva’s equaliser against Aston Villa.
Wenger has certainly seen a growth in the 26-year-old over the past decade.
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“He is a man today, when he arrived here he was a boy, a little boy who discovered a world where he did not know anything about it,” Wenger told our in-house media channel.
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“Of course he had to go through bad injuries and disappointments and I believe he is a man today, a man who knows what he wants and has been faithful to our club. It was a great signing.”
Walcott is at a crossroads in his Gunners career at the moment, with the forward finding it hard to hold down a regular first-team place.
Wenger seems to be reluctant to position two natural wide players in the same team, with Aaron Ramsey, favoured on one wing and Alexis Sanchez an immovable figure on the left.
Given that Walcott was given the nod to start up front against Chelsea, he could potentially displace Olivier Giroud as our central striker soon.