The 24 year old hasn’t featured for the Gunners since rupturing his cruciate knee ligament during Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup in January. The winger, who suffered a string of injury problems in recent seasons, has stepped up his rehabilitation from his latest injury setback last week.
Wenger, whose side face Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday, has confirmed that Walcott will return to full training with the rest of the first team squad on the 31st of this month.
Speaking to Arsenal’s official website, he said:
Theo Walcott is planned to come back into my group on 31st August, beginning of September at the latest.
He is doing well but he is not completely ready. I would say he could play at the end of August.
The Englishman was superb last season, but a cruciate damage ended his campaign, but he showed flashes of brilliance and maturity when he was on the pitch. He only featured in 13 Premier League matches for the Gunners but scored five goals and assisted four times. If he had managed to stay fit for longer periods, Arsenal may have enjoyed a better campaign.
He will have a tough time breaking his way into the starting line-up when he returns back from injury with the recent acquisition of Chile superstar Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez can play anywhere across the attack, but there is a chance that Wenger may prefer him ahead of Walcott in his right-sided role.
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The Chilean might play on the right wing in Walcott’s absence, but once he returns to the fold Sanchez may well switch inside. There’s no denying the fact that whenever Walcott plays Arsenal are a better team, and with a squad rich in quality the Gunners have a genuine chance of becoming Premier League champions.
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