Arsenal to use Walcott interest to beat Chelsea to defensive target?

Journalist Emanuele Giulianelli has claimed that Arsenal could be set to win the race to sign Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton, due to their interest in Theo Walcott.

The defender has handed in a transfer request this summer, and has so far been excluded from the first-team squad. Liverpool had been his preferred destination, but the Saints forced the Reds to apologise for their unjust pursuit of the Dutchman which unsettled him, and there seems to be tension around their dealings currently. Chelsea have also been touted as keen on his signature, but no deal has been struck as of yet.

The south-coast club is now believed to hold an interest in re-signing Theo Walcott from Arsenal, who has been limited to only 27 minutes of league football from the opening three league outings.

The England international has come under criticism in North-London on a number of occasions, with fans being quick to turn on him after a less-than desirable performance, but he has seemed to be happy with the club regardless.

Arsene Wenger may now have to consider whether he would be willing to part ways with his longest-serving senior player, in order to bring in a key player who they need.

Giulianelli believes a deal wouldn’t be easy for the 26 year-old, but Arsenal hold the key.

He said: “Talking about Virgil Van Dijk, the deal with Southampton for the Dutch defender is not easy, because the Saints don’t have the urgency to sell, so they are free to wait for the right offer and, in the meantime, can afford the luxury of even keeping him out of the squad.

“But Arsenal have the right key to convince Southampton: Theo Walcott has been a target of the Saints for a long time and they will ask Wenger to include the winger in the deal.”

Surely every Gunner out there would be happy to see Walcott move on as part of a deal to bring Van Dijk to the Emirates? Is Theo needed in case Alexis does leave?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Southampton van dijk Walcott


  1. Would be a waste of money of signing VVD, because of Wenger’s complete disregard for the defensive side of the game. Unbelievable to think that Wenger still hasn’t signed a quality DM to take over from Gilberto, and he left NINE YEARS AGO!

    Our CB’s never stand a chance because they have ZERO protection in front of them! Current protection is: Ramsey, who is not a DM, and more likely to be found upfront, than anywhere near our defence. The other is Xhaka, who also isn’t a DM, has no pace to recover, and gives the ball away in really dangerous positions. Right now, I’d rather have an Elneny/Coquelin partnership, because Xhaka/Ramsey together has been awful so far.

  2. Walcott is still going to score more goals than ozil, welbeck and iwobi combined this season even with his limited starts. Not sure why we would just sell him unless we go out and buy a wide player who actually scores goals.

  3. Draxler would be a great acquisition for Arsenal. He has all the qualities needed in terms of an attacking midfielder and has the versatility to play wide and through the middle.Given the choice of Lemar or Draxler I would go for the latter . This would then release Walcott to leverage the purchase of VVD who is a fine centre back and is exactly what Arsenal need along with a quality DM.

    1. Both Draxler and Lemar are predominately left sided players, so either would replace Sanchez, not Walcott who plays on the right.

  4. We wont be doing anything much until we see how the market settles down. Arsene will wait and wait until he makes sense of it all. Then when he knows the going rate, he will try to come in under it for the most part. But the prices are rising too quickly, so I imagine we are in a bit of a tailspin, last to react and never seeming to catch up. Money coming into football is what’s putting the prices up, but it feels like we’d rather pay what we were paying and bank the rest as profit.

  5. As a Saints fan I have to say I can’t see this happening. Firstly we wouldn’t pay Theo’s wages and secondly VVD gets very stroppy if people alongside and in front of him aren’t doing their jobs. So I can’t see him joining Arsenal unless you sign a top DM and have a manager willing to focus on defence.

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