Wenger happy to hold onto Walcott

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Arsene Wenger is adamant that Theo Walcott will remain an Arsenal player in January despite suggestions the England international could leave the Emirates in search of regular first team football.

The winger hasn’t made a single start in the Premier League so far this season and has been linked with the likes of Everton and West Ham in recent weeks.

The 28-year-old has recovered from an illness and is in line to feature against BATE Borisov tomorrow night, his first appearance since early November.

“Yes [he will play tomorrow],” said Wenger in his pre-game press conference.

“He works very hard to come back into it. He was sick. He had a sickness a few weeks ago and after I didn’t change the squad.

“Overall, in training he looks very sharp and I’m sure we’ll see that tomorrow [against BATE Borisov].”

Asked if Theo will still be a Gunner come the close of the next transfer window, he replied, “Yes.”

What the boss says in public on this matter and what he’s saying to Walcott in private are likely to be quite different. Having flirted with a departure in the past, it does feel like Theo’s time at Arsenal is slowly coming to an end.

He really needs to kick-start his career and you can’t help but think a new environment will help that.

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