Although the contract talks between Arsenal and the representatives of our England international Theo Walcott are still going on and may go on for some time, it appears to me that both sides want to get the deal done and the talks are just to agree the details.
The striker no longer seems to be unsure about committing his playing future to the Gunners, as he was a few years ago when his current contract was being talked about. And after an excellent game in the Asia Trophy final against Everton to back up the brilliant performances right at the end of last season, Walcott has done everything asked of him to prove his worth to Arsene Wenger.
I have a feeling that the boss has wanted Theo to expand his game a bit instead of just relying on his pace. And he has certainly done that; first of all with his movement and the timing of his runs while also improving his finishing. And now he has showed the manager that he also has the versatility to play anywhere along the front three.
Walcott has been speaking about this in a report on the Arsenal website and he has also made it clear that he is not going to insist on playing in the middle but is happy to play wherever Wenger wants him to.
The 26-year old said, “In modern-day football the three up front tend to change around a lot. You see it with England and with Barcelona, so we have that sort of trust in each other knowing that everyone can do that sort of role. It’s not a problem at all.
“I like it anywhere. I enjoy playing for this club. It’s well-documented where I want to play but there’s a lot of competition in that front line. If I’m in a role then I have to do my best there, but it’s another option for the manager. It’s not a bad thought.
“I’m always going to be judged on goals and I’ve been very happy with my goal record when I’ve been given the opportunity, and that’s all I can do.
“I enjoy scoring, I want to score for this club and you get a nice feeling of confidence from it as well. The belief that players show in you when you score goals, you’re going to get more and more opportunities.
“I’ll be judged on goals – that’s what strikers want to do, to score goals. I haven’t set a target as yet but when you’re a striker you need to be aiming for 15 or in the 20s. That’s a good start.
“I wouldn’t say I’m flying yet. It’s only one game and we can’t get too excited. In these games you want to get the match sharpness and training as well. We’ve only been training for just over a week, so not long at all.
“I am fairly confident. It’s my first pre-season for two years and I want to work really hard to make sure I’m in the starting line-up for the first game of the season.”
I also think that Walcott has been working on his passing and link up play as well, which is certainly something the manager wants in his players, so surely all this put together has made the flying forward an absolutely key part of the Arsenal team for the season ahead. What do you guys think?