Arsene Wenger says that Theo Walcott has developed into a big game player, and admitted that the 28 year old is more efficient from the right despite the fact the manager still sees him as a striker.
Walcott has 17 goals this season, not enough to get him into Gareth Southgate’s England squad, but only Alexis Sanchez has more goals for the Gunners in this current campaign.
The Frenchman tried to use Walcott centrally more often, but at the player’s request hasn’t done that this season, and he acknowledges it is to his benefit.
“I was always convinced, because of the quality of his runs, that he was a central striker,” said Wenger.
“He for a while was as well but he made up his mind during the summer break and he feels more comfortable on the right.”
“He is fair, he said if you give me the choice I would prefer to play on the right but if you want I will play through the middle, (the right) is his preferred position and it is true that it is where he is most efficient.”
And Wenger sees improvements in Walcott’s game, after a 2015-16 season which was ultimately very disappointing.
“He has become more of a complete player, more efficient,” he said. “He does better in the tactical part of his game and works hard defensively and offensively. He has been less injured as well, that helps.
“He has turned up in big games as well, he can score goals in big games. He showed that against Bayern, he scored the goal and I think it was a penalty on him and he can influence games.”
Walcott’s best goal total in a season for Arsenal was in 2012-13 and if he continues scoring at his current rate, 7 in his last 10 games, he could well top that this time around.