Is Arsenal transfer bid for winger to replace Walcott?

There is an Arsenal transfer rumour doing the rounds which, if true, could spell the end of the road of the Arsenal career of Theo Walcott. The England international forward is the club’s longest serving first team player but it is looking ever more likely that he might be packing his bags at the end of this season.

The claim by Arsene Wenger that he has been holding Walcott back from playing to make sure that he was properly match fit again has been less and less believable as the season has worn on. When you think that Walcott’s first appearance as a sub after his cruciate ligament problem was back in November you will see what I mean. Once again he watched a game from the bench today and it is hard to see how that will change.

So the Metro report about Arsenal preparing to make a significant transfer bid to bring the Bayer Leverkusen and Germany international star Karim Bellarabi to the Premier League should have alarm bells ringing in the Walcott camp, assuming that Theo actually wants to stay with Arsenal that is.

THe 24-year old German is an out and out winger and that sounds like a direct replacement for Walcott to me. Bellarabi has also been strongly linked with Man United so there is no guarantee that we would get him but just the fact we are interested suggests to me that Wenger is looking to replace Walcott this summer. What do you think?

Tags bellarabi Walcott Wenger


  1. The thing is i feel Theo always has goals in him, i would of played him today instead of sanchez who really needs a rest, what else is the point of squad depth if wenger is scared to rotate?
    Im against selling walcott, especially to a direct rival!! However if he wants a new deal here he better no go asking for a massive pay rise.

    1. Yes I feel the same way. He has actually scored since returning. He is always a threat on goal.

      I want him to stay too. He is very much an Arsenal player. But if he wants Alexis money (£140,000/week) or anywhere close to it. Forget about it. In the last two seasons (due to injury).he has scored I think 7 PL goals and 9 total. I’m okay with increasing his salary from £90,000 to £100,000 out of loyalty and good will but really a player needs to produce results on the pitch for a pay rise.

      If he wants a big pay rise, then sell him. We can get someone better.

      Again, I hope he stays. He is a quality player when on form.

      1. Sadly @fred cowardly, I agree with you. These players are not really the smartest cookies around. Here is a guy whose injury record has seen him earning millions of unjustified pounds and yet when it is contract renewal time, he conveniently forgets all about that. There is a reason wenger has held onto Diaby for so long. Diaby went to Wenger and said, ‘Stop paying me boss. I don’t deserve it. Modify my contdact to a pay as you play agreement and i will sleep bettef at night’. Now that is a human being talking. Most players wouldnt do this. All they think about is themselves. Walcot and his reps are greedy . He is a nice and polite guy and a one of a kind footballer. I love him and I dont want to let him go. But I am with Wenger on this one. Theo was out for a year through injury and all that while, the club was paying him close to 400,000 pounds a month. If he does not realise that nobody in the world deserves that kind of money when they are not working, he is a fool and should be replaced.

    2. I remember last time he came back from injury, he took a while to start scoring goals, and was on blistering form when he was injured against the spuds.

      He still has blistering acceleration, you can see that in the short periods he’s played, and he simply has not had enough game time to judge if he can still hit goal often enough.

      I do remember all the long contract arguments before, and Walcott will go if he doesn’t get what he wants, but SC19 earns 60k a week – a lot less than Walcott, but who is more valuable to the team?

      I think it is unfair of AW not to play him – today he should of started, given all the other tired legs, to show what he can do. Maybe he has already told AW he wants to leave, which is why he’s not being played?

  2. Who else feels that Sissoko would be a good addition to the team? He’s such a dynamic CM, blistering pace and stamina, good finisher and a presence in midfield. He’s not a DM but still would provide good squad depth in the CM role. Oh and he loves arsenal! Did a good job with the audition in front of wenger today.

    1. He is also a better finisher than Wellbeck is and he is a midfielder.
      The fella has the touch of a drunken club footed man and cannot hit a barn door from 2 metres out.

      But I know, he tries.

      1. Yeah. Did you see Welbeck’s reply to that awesome piece of skill by Alexis in 1st half.

        Didn’t even hit the target. It would have been a fantastic team goal but Welbeck fluffed it. I don’t mind that he didn’t score but at least kick the ball between the goal posts (on target)

        1. You cannot have players at the club Especially up top that can’t: A. Control a ball & B. hit the target

          Ok we can’t all be messi or Ronaldo with two good feet but for a professional footballer with a top team in the top echelon you got to have one surely!!!

          I think we can do a little better than this.

      2. I was surprised that Welbeck didnt get subbed for Theo. He was really poor today but i guess we can let this slide as he has preformed better than this on most occassions. I just want to see him bang in the goals more often!!

        1. You will rarely see Walcott come on as a sub in a game where we are leading because he doesn’t defend. If Walcott could defend like Welbeck, he’d be starting ahead of Welbeck.

  3. Welbeck is still young and has a good 2-3 years to improve his finishing. So hopefully he will improve every year.

    He is definitely faster than Giroud but Giroud is a better finisher (not a great finisher though but a good finisher and better than Welbeck)

    Welbeck scored an important goal against United. So he kept us in the FA Cup.

  4. Olivier Giroud and Arsene Wenger for PFA Player and Manager of the month!

    Giroud 5 goals and 1 assist in 4 matches. Arsenal 4 wins in 4. Both DESERVE them!

  5. To all those that are bandwagon bashers..

    Not so long ago everyone was going on about how Ozil was struggling because Ramsey and Walcott were out of the team or out of form. People on here a few months back could not stop going on about how they could not wait for Walcott to come back so that Ozil’s killer through passes can be appreciated. All I kept hearing was Sanchez on one wing, Walcott on the other wing with Ramsey making last minute runs into the ball and Ozil feeding them unbelievable passes.

    But all of a sudden a few weeks back Ramsey was being questioned if he was good enough for the first 11, and Walcott has been dismissed completely all together by the same people that were telling us how Walcott coming back is the missing ingredient in Ozil’s favor.

    At some point on here about Late November to New years period gooner were saying things like THE OX has not improved at all and has no end product, he is over hyped, just a headless runner blah blah and that now they believe Walcott is mile ahead of him. smh..

    Seriously, people on here are just all over the place with their opinions, they never stick to an opinion, all they do is change their minds game by game…


    1. If you look at last week’s game against West Ham, all of those things were in the game. Walcott was played in several times, albeit without scoring. Ramsey had a couple of chances and got a goal. Özil played some very impressive passes too, with Giroud holding the ball well and getting the goals. That’s the model we should aim to play. I’ve never said Oxlade-Chamberlain isn’t good enough, though I’ll admit he lacks goals and assists in his game.

    2. Basically, what happens is, people have different opinions on things. So for example; person A says the Ox has not improved at all and has no end product, whilst person B says that Ox is much better than Walcott…what you are hearing is different people saying different things on a blog that has hundreds of different people commenting different things.

      But yeah, imo cash in on Walcott – get the Ox playing more regularly and then buy a promising right winger to fill in the gap – we already have a few who can play walcott’s position anyway. I feel that with Walcott in the team we lose our balance between defence and attack a bit so its risky.

  6. Walcott situation does not alarm me much compared to previous seasons and i fear the arsenal team has evolved without him, while he was injured. All the players have become more discipline in regards to defending even ozil(a little), i therefore feel that Walcott must accept what ever that is been offered to him from the board until he can give us a season uninjured and willing to show the defensive discipline necessary to be a part of the arsenal first team.

    In regards to OX who i think has become arsenal’s most important asset, injuries must be properly dealt with and given a proper amount of time to heal, its obvious the effect of Sanchez on OX development, when his finishing becomes more lethal i feel he will be mention as in the same awe of which we speak about Hazard and others.

    Welbeck no doubt has improved with his running on the ball and through spaces, yes his finishing and sometimes his touch may need some touch up, but he is an important part of the arsenal evolution

    1. Neither Ox nor Ozil (one injured and one sick) was even in the team yesterday and yet Walcott couldn’t get on the field. I don’t see a future for Theo at Arsenal.

  7. He is not a first team material anymore, these injuries has taken their toll and he is not the fierce speedster he used to be. his finishing is not gr8 anyway, but he needs confidence and full game time to come good, so he has less and less chance. I hate to say, but since he is English, he will bring good money. Bring in bright young prospects for future with that investment( considering we will buy a good ball playing CDM, and a forward may be, anyway)

    1. dude.. we have enough future investments in attack.
      Gnabry, Campbell, Akpom, Toral, Crowley, Silva (i’ll get slated, but if you don’t believe he has potential just disregard the next name) Sanogo and the Ox still developing.

  8. Why do we need to replace Walcott? All this speculation about his contract is just media hype. Why would Walcott leave Arsenal, and where would he go? Walcott will sign a new contract soon enough. I can’t see him leaving.

    1. I agree – would be surprised if there were many on here who would deny Theo would be a really great player to have in our squad. I think it is the notion of now being a squad player that may be troubling him. First time in eons we have good squad depth – convincing Theo to remain part of the squad would be a strong statement of intent going forward.

  9. If we get into a situation where we need another winger, I’d still throw £40-50m out on Reus. I can still see him moving in the summer, even with his new contract. Why settle for less? We’re supposedly a big club with money to spend now. If we want to win the league, we need to sign the best players. I know it’s not just a case of throwing money out there, but if you don’t put in a bid and show interest, you’re never going to sign anyone…

    Wingers aside, seeing as Walcott will most likely stay, this summer I’d prioritise signing a big defensive midfielder. Personally I’d go for Krychowiak, he fits the bill very well. I’d also go for a top centre back if we can find one. Mertesacker has been far below the standard required this season and isn’t going to get any better. Gabriel looks good though, glad he got his first call-up for Brazil.

    1. I would love Reus. Can play LW, RW, CAM like Alexis.

      I’d love to have both Reus and Dybala or Lacazette
      Never happen though


  10. Ok.. So judging by these comments in my opinion Theo is being criminally under-rated.

    A. Very, very long injury lay off. Has not had a chance to string multiple games together and is challenging players for a position in attack which has developed an understanding and is clicking well.
    B. New players.. The relationship between wing-back and winger is vital, especially in a possession team. When Theo was last fit for an extended period of time he had a very strong understanding with Sagna and they used to cause some real problems on the right. He scored 20+ goals that season. The season before he assisted RVP 14 times while grabbing a modest share of goals as well.
    C. The reason Theo can be so frustrating is his very under-rated ability to get into dangerous positions. He has been regularly getting into scoring positions, just failing to find the net. As we’ve seen with many players, fatigue, confidence and form can play a massive part (Giroud, Sanchez, Ramsey). An extended run of games and he may just start whipping it low and hard across the keeper like he does so clinically at times..

    Yes, now we have a certain Alexis Sanchez who is amazing and looking at the team sheet it’s hard to see where he fits.. Especially if you’re trying to accommodate Ramsey, Ozil and Cazorla together as well.. But injuries happen, Sanchez has played far too much this season, and rotation is needed. On his day he is as dangerous as they come and even without the ball he can stretch defences as they simply must account for his threat in behind…

    This has been very long-winded, for that i apologize, but lastly i personally don’t think that Theo will hold the club to ransom for an unreasonable wage.
    If he asks for just over 100k I think we should pay. It’s his prime, he’s been loyal… 10-15k extra a week would be a lot less painful than if he were to go elsewhere and prove to be worth far more! (sturridge)

  11. it seems obvious, theo is gone, he is tough on negotiation and demands and soft on delivering value, i like him, but if we sell and spend i am ok, as for danny, i thought he looked great v new castle, he was constantly stretching the defense, his track back was also great, heart and speed are there, takes a wenger to work on making him clinical, thats what arsene does best, teach. ( negotiate, not so much) yes danny missed a shot yesterday, tough volley but messi shoots over the bar often, next year welbeck will be a different guy, just like giroud became,

  12. Here’s the thing…. If Giroud is completely entrenched in the CF role, or if we are to continue the style of play that we are in now, using that type of player through the middle, Walcott is the BEST winger we have. He stretches the defense and draws defenders away like very few in the world. He may not be consistent with his finishes, but his play usually creates a good bit more as well.

    All this about Alexis being tired overshadows another issue: he is not a great fit with Giroud. He likes to make those runs in the middle, and often times stay there for lengthy periods. He is best when given that freedom, and he (and others) have much less with Giroud there as opposed to Welbeck. The way the system is set up currently, Giroud is the best we have.

    Perhaps Alexis would do better if Walcott replaced Welbeck on the other side as without Walcott and Ox, there are nearly zero runs to the outside from the forward players. The fullbacks have to be the ones creating width (which puts unnecessary pressure on them to get and stay forward, weakening the defense considerably) while Alexis moves around looking for space. At times he comes inside as more of a CAM, which doesn’t work well when Cazorla is the CAM as he is not great out wide either. With Welbeck and Alexis as the wingers I just think the team is too narrow, making it easier for teams to defend against.

    Which brings me to something that I have been thinking for a while now. Perhaps it isn’t the defense that needs to be fixed. What other “top” teams in Europe need to have 8 players forward almost constantly to get any kind of decent attack going? The offense is horribly inefficient. We can’t keep possession easily in the middle of the field without overwhelming numbers with 3 midfielders and 2 fullbacks usually there. Is it possible that the best midfield in the league is actually not all that good in possession or creativity? Is it possible that one of the most celebrated attacks across Europe is actually quite poor?

    Look at the best teams in Europe. Unless they are seriously chasing goals, the attack often consists of 6 players, at most 7. A fullback will make runs forward, but watch the rest of the field as a holding player will usually creep over to cover as well as the fullback on the other side staying a bit farther back to prevent being caught out. Holding players will make runs forward, but at least one player stays to shield the defense. The best teams nearly always have good width with their forward players. Even if they don’t put in a lot of crosses, the players draw defenders wide to stretch the defense and look for passes back to the midfield behind the striker where space may open up for a key pass or a shot from distance. Of course, if defenses back off enough, they will just put the cross in and force teams to defend it.

    And this is done with 6 players in many cases. And the great offensive powerhouse Arsenal need 8. This is why the defense is weak. They are unprotected. Constantly leaving 2 defenders back is suicide, and we have lived on the edge of that blade for too long. Looking at the individual players that play defense for us, we should have quite a good defense. It is no accident that Chambers looks so poor here while he was so good at Southampton, just as it is no accident that Per, one of the better defenders in Europe looks out of place so often. If we are trying to constantly out duel opponents on offense, then why is it that we don’t lead the league in goals every year? We don’t even create that many chances honestly.

    The balance of the team is all wrong at the moment, and whether that is because we need better OFFENSIVE players that can create those chances without needing to throw 8 players forward, or because the system just isn’t working I am not sure (though I believe it is the latter). I am sure though that Arsene needs to produce meaningful progress by the end of next season (surely no one is kidding themselves into thinking he will ever be fired) to prove to me and most others that he still should be around. I just hope the team does not have to fall off too much before anything is done about it.

    1. Sorry, I should say that I meant that Alexis is not a NATURAL fit with Giroud. I do think with his skill he will figure out how to play well with him, but I don’t think we will ever get his best with the way the team is currently set up unless we have a central striker who is more comfortable on the wings and willing to step out wide while Alexis roams around.

      1. I think the inclusion of coquelin has somewhat adjusted this problem slightly and given us greater balance. I remember watching match of the day and seeing an analysis last season where flamini was basically the last player back with the cb’s during a counter atttack and he didnt know where to pressurise the ball as they were coming at us from both flanks. coquelin hardly ventures past the centre circle and is very quick at intercepting breaks, this has given the midfielders greater license to get forward without being exposed.

        But I personally think the reason we need more players involved in build up is because when giroud plays we don’t have a striker willing to make runs in behind constantly stretching the opposition and creating more space for our midifelders to either dribble or play the killer pass. When walcott plays we look like a different team, at least to me, and i think it is because his main strengths lie in that ability to beat the offside trap and his movement off the ball is world class.

        But I agree with you about sanchez, there was a different potency in our attack with welbeck sanchez and ox up top, although we have a different option in that giroud ramsey partnership which is built more around possession than fast counter attacking play. With the addition of a complete striker like we had in vp or a suarez would definitely help the balance I feel

        1. @ JT the match you talked about was against liverpool..if i am correct
          @ SD …your analysis shows you see the forest for the trees, most comments just give their opinion like they are playing Championship manager
          -as JT said coquelin has helped slightly fix the problem of the overexposure of our defence to counter attacks and the full backs don’t both bomb forward as much, the reason monreal starts ahead of Gibbs
          -walcott always looks lost and confused now when he makes appearances, and never wants to create or get too involved in build up play just wants to run into the middle and get on the end of balls.
          -chambers must be banned from playing right back he is going to cost us in a game very soon,he has been taken apart in more than three games,most teams use his side to attack whenever he plays, i think flamini is a better prospect till debuchy and jenkinson come back.
          -walcott is only good to come on when the opposing team is about to start attacking us (when we are a few goals up) for his pace on the counter
          -having gabriel replace BFG makes arsenal compress the play and play better close intricate passes and take opposing teams apart (he is a welcomed addition)

          1. Eh, but when Monreal goes forward, both fullbacks are forward 😛

            Gibbs main problem for me is that he seems to lack any awareness at all for the defensive side. At times someone will creep down the side of the field waiting for a counter and Gibbs just continues to bomb forward. He also likes to make challenges early in a developing attack, when we are still low on numbers. If he gets beat in that situation, the player is past him and there is one less defender for them to beat. He has to learn to stay in front of the player and delay him so that help arrives. But mostly, he has to improve his awareness to know when he can and can’t bomb forward.

            Even with Coquelin the defense will continue to suffer as long as there aren’t consistently 3 defenders back. Coquelin is a much better DM than I thought he would be (though I’m not convinced he is really the one we need yet) but he cannot cover both flanks in that situation above. He will have to choose one and a good pass will still break the defense.

            Chambers cannot play that role for us, at least not at this stage of his career. He is slow and his positioning at the RB position is just terrible. Goes to show you how different our system is to Southampton’s on several counts. The positioning, cover, zonal scheme, and just general lack of numbers in defending all play a role in his play. He looked better yesterday, but he needed the help of Gabriel and Sanchez on a number of occasions to see plays out. He is clearly just awful as a one on one defender, and that is a key part of Arsenal’s defense that Sagna was quite exceptional at and that Bellerin is already quite good at.

            Walcott has not had a chance to get back into form. I still remember watching RVP when he first came back from his long injuries several years ago. He was absolutely terrible and he benched Chamakh, who at the time was playing brilliantly. After a run of 7-8 games starting he came on and it was clear who should have been there, but it took a good string of games to get there. Walcott has not been given that chance and needs to get some regular time there to get his form.

            I also wouldn’t write off Per yet. Gabriel doesn’t make the passing game better as Per is a great passer. Gabriel may help the defense as he won’t try to hold the ball and look for a pass while under pressure as Per did too often for my taste. His speed helps more in the zonal scheme than Per’s positioning IMO, but it will take some time to figure out whether he will really be any better for the team than Per. Don’t forget that while he is still new, teams don’t know how to plan for him yet.

  13. karma is a b*tch.theo is paying the price for holding us to ransom a couple years ago,flamini will also get his due when we ship him out (went to ac milan on a free &was a bad time for us)may be i am forgetting someone else!!rvp,nasri….???

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