Arsenal today announced that Theo Walcott has signed a new contract with the club, ending months of speculation that he was set to leave the club.
Walcott is Arsenal’s top scorer this season, with 14 goals in all competitions. The deal is believed to be worth £100k a week and the length of the contract is believed to be 3 and a half years.
Theo joined the club in January 2006 from Southampton and already has 244 first-team appearances under his belt and 56 goals aged just 23. Hopefully there are many more appearances and goals to come in the future.
Arsene Wenger said the following about Walcott committing his future to the club:
“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.”
Upon signing his new contract, Walcott said:
“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.”
So there we have it. Theo is signed up for another few years or so. Months of speculation that Walcott is off can finally be put to bed and Arsenal can move forward as a club. Walcott pledging his future is great news for the club and with 5 British players (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and most importantly of all, Jack Wilshere) signing new deals last month, Arsenal have a British core to build upon at the club. In the past 10 years or so, jokes have been made about Arsenal being a French team playing in England due to the large amount of French players at the club, but Arsenal have a lot of British players at the club now and those figures could grow over the next couple of years.
This was important for the club. They’ve been labelled a selling club after selling many key players over the last few years including Robin Van Persie, Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. To let Walcott go at such a young age and potentially to a direct rival would have been a nightmare for Arsenal. Hopefully this encourages other players to sign new deals with the club in the future and shows players that you don’t have to walk out on the team.
Arsenal’s problems aren’t automatically solved by Walcott signing a new deal. Let’s not kid ourselves here. But it is a major step in the right direction. What I am hoping for now is a couple of fresh faces to come in before the end of the transfer window and none of this ‘Walcott is like a new signing’ rubbish that Wenger has given about players in the past.
A couple of new signings now would be lovely as mentioned above and if Theo would like to celebrate signing his new contract by continuing his good goalscoring record against Chelsea on Sunday, I would be absolutely delighted with how this week has gone.