FORMER Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins has warned Theo Walcott he is wasting his career sat on Arsenal’s bench.
The former Southampton forward has started just 13 league matches for the Gunners this season and only completed 90 minutes on two occasions this term.
The 27-year-old has found himself stuck behind the likes of Olivier Giroud and Joel Campbell under Arsene Wenger and West Ham are said to be interested in his services this summer.
Wilkins said: “If you look, he has been there (Arsenal) for 10 years now, and played 225 or 226 games, that’s not enough.
“You know, I think it’s time now maybe that Theo moves on – I think he has to play.
“He’s not playing enough, nowhere near enough, and he doesn’t get selected at Arsenal.
“I think a move could be on the cards now. Time to move on, time to start playing some football if he hopes to get where we think he can get.”
We tend to agree with Wilkins and if Walcott is truly ambitious and wants to improve, deep down he’ll believe it too.
If he’s happy enough to just keep picking up a healthy pay packet each week – he only signed a new four-year deal last year – he’ll probably stay at Arsenal and continue to flit in and out of the first team.
To be fair, Walcott has been hampered by his fair share of injuries over the years but even so, he’s never really been able to command a regular place in the starting XI for any length of time, while it seems Arsenal still aren’t sure whether he’s best utilised in the middle up front or out wide.
Although he prefers to play through the centre, his record suggests isn’t good enough to hold down that position at the Gunners and there are a number of other options to fill the wide role.
At just 27, Walcott has arguably still to reach his peak and a move away from the Emirates could be what he needs to reignite his career and perform consistently at a high level.
Gunners fans, is it time for Walcott to move on?