Bye Bye Walcott! It Is Time For Wenger To Sell The £18m-rated Attacker And Find A Replacement
Premier League football has witnessed the upsurge as well as the downfall of many of its stars; the current season is no different either. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Jesse Lingard, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alex Iwobi are finally proving their worth, whereas a few of Premier League regulars seem to have lost the plot completely to become fringe players in their squad since the inception of the new campaign back in August.
Arsenal, unfortunately, have observed the decline of some of their talented stars who have been with them for several seasons – Theo Walcott, the £18m-rated English international, has to be the biggest disappointment of all.
The 28-year-old attacker is currently having his 12th successive campaign for the Gunners since completing a winter transfer from Southampton back in 2006. He didn’t even turn 17 back then but his enormous talent impressed Arsene Wenger, who handed him his Premier League debut during the 2006-07 campaign. He made plenty of appearances in domestic competitions as well as the prestigious Champions League tournament and soon became one of their key performers in the campaigns that followed.
However, injuries have often troubled his career growth during the span and hindered him from becoming a regular for his club and country. Walcott has netted 108 goals for the Gunners in 392 appearances altogether and is one of the club’s highest scorers ever in Premier League era.
However, the Englishman’s development seems to have halted in recent years as he is yet to flourish as one of the Gunners’ top-notch performers at the age of 28. He has failed to step up due to injuries and inconsistency, which has resulted in an anguish for Wenger, who is not considering Walcott as his key resource anymore. He has opted to leave him out of his starting XI for the majority of the campaign. He has made only 3 substitute Premier League appearances and the Gunners boss is preferring youngster Alex Iwobi over him.
Walcott is only being lined up for their Europa League outings, the European competition that is second-fiddle to Champions League in which Arsenal are participating for the first time in almost two decades time following their failure to make it to the ‘top four’ of the 2016-17 Premier League season. Although he has netted thrice and assisted 5 times in 5 appearances in this competition so far, Walcott’s impressive European run against European minnows hasn’t bothered Wenger much.
His latest injury concern has sent him further down the pecking order at the Emirates and it will be an uphill task for the wingman to earn his earlier status. The story of his teammate Jack Wilshere has been quite similar too, but the midfielder seems to have regained the manager’s trust by staying fit and utilising the limited opportunities that he has been offered so far.
Walcott is under contract until the summer of 2019 but seems to have lost his place with his long-term employers. Wenger will be keen to add more firepower to his squad during the upcoming January transfer window but is expected to consider offers for the once highly-rated Englishman who is now another instance of a wasted talent. The decision would be right, to sell Theo Walcott as soon as possible.