Theo Walcott has been linked with a move away from the Emirates by the Express recently, and it could be time to cash in on the pacey forward.
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The 26-year-old has struggled for form since his return from injury, and has been rotting away on the bench for a while. It seems as though there is more going on at the Emirates than Walcott or Arsene Wenger are letting on, as he was similarly left out of the starting lineup last time contract negotiations stalled back in 2013.
The Express reports that there are contrasting stories coming from the Arsenal camp, with Wenger and Walcott contradicting each other at every turn. The England international insists there have been no contract talks yet, and claims he is focusing on his football. Wenger spoke out to set the record straight, however, stating that talks were already underway.
“We start to negotiate with Theo to extend his contract. Personally I would like to keep him,” the manager said.
Walcott is allegedly stalling because he wants a wage increase, with Wenger unwilling to budge on the £90,000 he is currently offering the forward.
It’s difficult to judge him based on this season, as he has spent the vast majority of the time sidelined with injury. He clearly hasn’t been at his best since his return, but it’s hard to know how much of that is down to his lack of fitness.
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If he can find the form he was showing before his injury, then he would obviously still have a part to play at the club. He is a fantastic finisher on his day, and his turn of pace can be absolutely devastating. There aren’t many players like him in the Premier League, and if gets back to his best after recovering from his injury then we would be foolish to let him go.
If he really is holding the club to ransom again, though, then we would arguably be better off without him. I am a fan of Walcott’s, but he is not indispensable. He is unlikely to be happy playing second fiddle or spending large amounts of time on the bench.
With his stock is still relatively high, and we could surely get a large sum for him despite there being just a year left on his current deal. With our new found financial power we could possibly find an upgrade on Walcott, but is it worth the risk?