Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has suddenly become a wanted man, if not by the Gunners then reportedly by London neighbours Chelsea. Rumours have been circling around that if Arsene Wenger is fed up with the enigmatic youngster then Roman Abramovich is willing to open up his wallet to sign him.
And according to former Gunner Stewart Robson, he wouldn’t mind seeing the back of Arsenal’s number 14. Walcott, like the rest of his teammates, went through an inconsistent year. He managed to score 11 goals in 46 games for the club this season and apparently did enough to impress new England boss Roy Hodgson, who included Walcott in his Euro 2012 squad. He scored eight of the goals in 35 league games and set up 11 for his teammates.
The 47-year-old Robson told talkSPORT radio that he thinks Walcott’s a liability when defending with Arsenal and if he asks for a wage increase for his next contract the club should get rid of him and see how much they can get for him. Robson said he doesn’t think Walcott’s a good football player and it wouldn’t bother him if Wenger sold him tomorrow. He admitted that the winger is quick and fast, but is just a good athlete who happens to wear a pair of football boots for a living.
Robson feels that Walcott should have been taught how to be a better technical player when he was younger, which may be a dig at Wenger and his staff. He added that Walcott should have learned how to find the open spaces on the pitch and should be more aware of what’s going on around him during games. These are the words of a midfield player who scored 16 goals for Arsenal in 150 games, so take them for what you feel they’re worth.
Like Robin van Persie, Walcott’s contract expires at the end of the 2012/13 season. But, unlike his Dutch teammate, Walcott has reportedly made it known that he’s perfectly happy at the Emirates and would like to sign a new contract. What isn’t known though is if he’s seeking a pay raise. Wenger doesn’t seem to be in a rush to sign him as he said he wants to wait until Euro 2012 is over, but could change his mind if Chelsea is genuinely interested in him.
The Daily Mail reported that Wenger is frustrated with Walcott’s inconsistent play and still hasn’t decided if he wants to offer him a contract extension. It’s believed that the player makes about £70,000-per-week with the Gunners and it’s doubtful that Wenger would want to pay him much more on a new deal. If Wenger tries to low-ball him, it’s possible that Walcott will simply walk away from the club unless he’s sold first.
But to complicate matters, it’s believed that Arsenal value the former Southampton Englishman at about £20 million. If he’s worth that much the club certainly won’t want to see Walcott leave for nothing once his contract runs out. But since he’s just 23 years old and has quite a bit of experience under his belt, some fans feel Wenger will try to keep him since there’s a good chance he could become a star once he hits his peak.
I think if he can be signed at a reasonable price then Walcott’s definitely worth keeping around and not just because he’s an Englishman on the 25-man roster. He usually gives a good effort and is still young enough to coach and to get him to be more responsible in his own end. Let’s face it, he outscored everybody on the team this year other than van Persie and his 42 goals and 40 assists in 220 games with the Gunners isn’t too shabby.
If you were Wenger would you sign him, sell him, or let him walk?