Arsenal have confirmed that Theo Walcott has penned a new long-term deal at the club bringing a positive end to the Gunners latest interminable ‘will he, won’t he’ contract saga.
It is believed that the England international has successfully sealed a £100,000-a-week, three-and-a-half-year package with reports suggesting his delegates have also pocketed him a hefty signing on fee in the region of £3 million. The deal makes Walcott one of the club’s highest paid stars.
Having done their utmost to drive a hard bargain over the last 18 months it looks as though the board had little choice but to soften their stance with the player able to leave N5 at the end of the season on a free.
Outflanked on the negotiation front, Ivan Gazidis and Dick Law can at least take heart from the fact that one of the squad’s most marketable faces remains at the club despite obvious interest from rival Premier League clubs. Indeed, given the high-profile departures of Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas it represents something of a bitter-sweet feat for the beleaguered duo.
Walcott becomes the sixth British player to sign a contract extension at Arsenal in quick succession with new deals signed last month by Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson.
Having signed Walcott as a 16-year-old from Southampton in January 2006, Arsene Wenger spoke of his delight at keeping the winger-cum-striker at the Emirates.
“We are all delighted that Theo has signed a new contract. He joined us as a 16-year-old and since then has developed very well to become an extremely important player for both Arsenal Football Club and England.
“Theo is a strong player and also a great person, and the combination of his ability and pace always make him such a valuable asset either from the flanks or down the middle. Theo’s contract extension now gives us a strong nucleus of ambitious young players who have committed to the Club and want to be successful with us as a group.”
Walcott, who has previously spoken not just about playing as a striker but also of emulating the achievements of mentor Thierry Henry, also went on record stating his happiness at committing his long-term future to the Gunners.
“I am very happy to have signed a new contract here at Arsenal. Thanks to everyone for their continued support, especially the manager, everyone at the club and most importantly the fans. I have made it clear from the start that I wanted to stay at Arsenal so I am pleased we have agreed a deal that everyone is happy with. What’s important now is for the team to realise its potential and win trophies.”
Arseblog News is very glad to see a line drawn under the uncertainty, wishes Theo all the best on the wing (just kidding champ…) and urges all Arsenal fans to resist the temptation to use slang in describing how he utilised a pen to sign off on the deal.
Now for some new faces…