Arsenal forward Theo Walcott is close to making his return to action and could be involved against Southampton on Saturday, according to reports in Daily Mail.
The England international hasn’t featured since the Champions League win at Marseille in September, but could be available to face his former side when the Saints visit the Emirates Stadium.
The report states that medical staff have given the midfielder the all clear to resume full training and he should be in the squad to face the south coast club.
The 24 year old has been on the sidelines for over six weeks following surgery on an abdominal injury that he picked up before the Stoke City game, but the winger be in contention to face his former club this weekend.
Aaron Ramsey missed Wales friendly against Finland due to a hamstring complaint but is also expected to be available for the clash with Southampton. Lukas Podolski, recovering from a hamstring injury, is also hoping to be back before the end of the month.
Arsenal have been in brilliant form this season thanks to their rich talent in the midfield but have sometimes been one dimensional through this run of games. The lack of pace up front was quite evident against Dortmund and Manchester United as the opposition exploited this weakness.
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The Gunners are missing Lukas Podolski as he adds width and is a fantastic finisher, but it is Theo Walcott we have missed the most. He gives us such a valuable outlet with his pace and he would have given Manchester United a much tougher game. Even in the matches against Liverpool and Dortmund, there were times when Theo’s presence on the pitch was sorely missed.
We have done extremely well to play well and win games without him but there is no doubt that he gives us that something extra when we run out of ideas. We have Olivier Giroud up top and Theo is the perfect player to play alongside him to feed off his flicks and passes. The Frenchman has looked isolated in some games and that has influenced the amount of chances we’ve created. We have the best midfield in the League but without that burst of pace we can’t vary our game and give the opposition defenders something else to think about.
Can Walcott make a big impact on his return? Share your thoughts in the comments below.