Arsene Wenger is hoping that Theo Walcott’s desire to open talks regarding a new contract will mean that a deal will be agreed soon, and see the 26-year-old enjoy the best years of his career at our club.
According to the Daily Mail, the boss believes that, with just 12 months left on his current contract, the England international will extend his stay at the Emirates, due to his affection for the Gunners.
“He loves the club and I think he wants to stay, personally,” Wenger explained.
“Once a player accepts to talk to you, that means his first wish is to stay. I don’t think his desire is to leave,” he said.
Walcott has endured a difficult season that has been blighted by injuries. But, he has proved that when he is able to get a solid run in the side under his belt, he is able to produce moments of brilliance. His pace is enough to give defenders 90 minutes worth of headaches, but he has also added an end-product to his game.
Considering he has spent much of his time since his move from Southampton, as a winger, he has a fairly impressive goalscoring record. He has bagged 47 goals in 204 Premier League appearances, 73 of which came from the bench. And Wenger believes that his return to the side could signal the beginning of a new role for the player.
“He can be transformed,” he added.
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“Being 26 to 32 as a striker is the best age as a striker and I wouldn’t like to miss that golden age. He is naturally gifted to play in this position,” he concluded.
Whilst it is encouraging to hear about Wenger’s confidence in Walcott, it may worry some fans who were hoping to see a new signing competing with Olivier Giroud next season. However, the Frenchman has been fantastic this campaign, and having a marquee name battling with him may be bad for team morale. Therefore, it makes more sense to have an option that can feature in a variety of positions depending on where he is required. This will also allow for more money to be spent in areas that really do need strengthening.