THEO WALCOTT has told ESPN that he wants to stay at Arsenal and is prepared to fight for his place.
The 27-year-old had been widely tipped to leave the Emirates this summer after struggling to hold down a first-team spot, something that arguably cost him a place in England’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2016.
However, after 10 years as a Gunner, Walcott appears to have finally accepted that his future at the north London clubs lies in a wide-right position, rather than the central striking role he would prefer to play in.
He has held talks to that effect with Arsene Wenger, who won’t consider him as a striker next season.
Walcott did spend a period last season in his favoured role but all-too-often his finishing let him down and Olivier Giroud reclaimed the role towards the end of the campaign.
The emergence of Alex Iwobi further hindered Walcott’s chances of operating as the main striker, while the likely signing of another forward this summer – possibly Jamie Vardy – would have made it virtually impossible for Walcott to secure regular football playing through the middle.
Although he seems to have been around for ages – having made his Southampton debut at the age of just 16, and representing England a year later – Walcott still has electric pace and is capable of beating players one on one, something he can better utilise playing out wide.
There’s no doubt a fit and firing Walcott still has plenty to offer and if he can knuckle down, now knowing he won’t be shunted around the pitch, we may yet still see the best of him in an Arsenal shirt.