Arsene Wenger is sure that he will keep Arsenal’s most “capped” current player, Theo Walcott, at least until May.
Walcott has been embroiled in a contract dispute with Arsenal since the summer when neither side could come to terms agreeable to both club and player for an extension to a contract which expires in 2013. Walcott is rumored to be seeking both a substantial increase in his pay and certain undisclosed clauses, demands which neither side seems prepared to budge from. One clause strongly rumored to be part of Walcott’s demands is a positional guarantee that he is played as center forward for Arsenal rather than in his customary wide role.
The Englishman splits opinion among fans with some as recent as this summer suggesting that it would be no great loss if Arsenal were to sell him. To his credit, Walcott has been the consummate professional and has put in a string of impressive performances despite being benched by Arsenal to start the season. Along the way he has changed a number of fans’ minds and many are now calling for him to “sign da ting” as the popular yet unlistenable song goes.
Perhaps the pinnacle of his season so far was Arsenal’s 5-2 win away to Reading on Monday in which he not only scored a goal but also started in his favored forward position. That goal took his goals tally to 11 on the season, making him Arsenal’s leading goal scorer in 18 appearances in all competitions. He also leads Arsenal in assists with 7.
In terms of League goals, Walcott is second at Arsenal with 5, having been eclipsed by Santi Cazorla’s hat trick on Monday. Walcott is also second in assists at Arsenal with 4 in the League. He is also the current Arsenal player with the most appearances in all competitions with 238, Sagna is second with 215 apps, and Diaby leads all Arsenal players with appearances in the physio’s office at a staggering 3,245.
Walcott scored his first goal for Arsenal in the League cup final loss to Chelsea on 25th of February 2007. He has since scored a total of 53 goals for the Gunners.
Arsene Wenger was unequivocal that Theo Walcott will stay at Arsenal, at least until the end of the year. When asked if Theo will be sold in January he was very quick to say “no.” Arsenal fans will take pause with that as Wenger was cocksure about keeping Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri only to see them sold to Barcelona and Man City a few weeks later.
During a series of questions in which he was asked whether Arsenal’s signing of 5 young Englishmen would push Theo to sign (da TING*) Wenger remained hopeful and employed his trademark winsome grin.
*Seriously, you young people need to get laid if you enjoy listing to this crap.