Theo Walcott Issues Near-Ultimatum to Arsenal in Contract Dilemma


Theo Walcott’s current status at Arsenal is incredibly questionable, as in, nobody knows, beyond blind speculation, what’s going on with the speedy winger’s current and future position with the club. After getting into a supposed “altercation” with fans after the Monaco debacle (Daily Mail), Walcott has now stalled on his new contract talks until this summer, or at least that’s what the Express is reporting.

By waiting until the summer, Walcott is getting the figurative ‘high ground’ in the contract talks. While reports indicate that Arsenal are interested in locking up Walcott to a five-year deal and making him one of the highest paid players on the team, the England international would obviously be a bit hesitant given his lack of playing time.

More from Arsenal News

So what does Walcott gain by waiting until the summer?

Well, no doubt a player of Walcott’s magnitude will draw in considerable offers from other squads, and with the transfer window opening in the summer, those offers will pour in. Walcott will be able to use those offers as leverage for negotiating a contract with Arsenal. And if he can’t get the contract and guaranteed play time he wants, he can move on.

It’s like a vice grip. No matter what, Walcott is going to be in charge of where he plays – or at least that’s the plan. He’s essentially telling Arsenal “give me time or I’ll find somewhere else that will,” and he’ll most definitely be able to find somewhere else if need be.

Theo Walcott’s place on the club has fallen under intense scrutiny as of late, especially given Arsenal’s tactical changes. And even more especially after Arsene Wenger issued his “if you don’t defend, you don’t play” statement ( because Theo Walcott doesn’t defend. Therefore it leaves little question as to why he doesn’t play.

Now that Arsenal have Alexis and with the continued emergence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, both of whom dribble and control the ball better than Walcott, Theo has been confined to down-late-sub duties – not something he’d be too happy with, especially because Arsenal haven’t been down late very much lately.

ESPNFC discusses the possibility of Walcott and Arsenal already knowing that “the game is up” and that he’s resigned to leave. We here at Pain in the Arsenal have posed the question of whether or not it would be the most beneficial to just sell the guy. But how can you sell the longest-tenured Arsenal player and one of our most potent attacking weapons?

Well, it wouldn’t be easy. But let’s not assume he’s sold just yet. Few can forget the last time Walcott needed an extension; he didn’t sign it until there was about six months left on his current deal. By that standard, we have tons of time.

But I don’t think we’ll need it. If the deal isn’t done by this summer, I don’t see Theo Walcott re-signing. He knows what he’s doing with this near-ultimatum. He’s going to use other club’s interest as leverage to get more playing time. I could even see him using other Premier League club’s interest (because there will be plenty).

More from Pain in the Arsenal

It appears to be an impasse as is. Arsenal’s new style doesn’t rely on the well-timed runs of wingers anymore, it doesn’t need attack-only players and it wouldn’t be too much worse-off if Walcott were to leave. But he’s such a useful weapon, he’s been faithful to Arsenal and he deserves to be a Gunner. So both sides have plenty of ammo to approach this situation with. The question is which side will win out.

I don’t see it going well. As in, I don’t foresee Theo Walcott staying. The only way I can see Walcott re-signing under the current Arsenal strategical situation is if his loyalty to the club wins out. But at 26 years old, the guy wants to play, and who can blame him? It’s an unenviable spot for Walcott to be in, but it’s not the best for Arsenal to be in either. Walcott has been absolutely potent for the club, but unless he can learn to defend and control the ball better, there’s no place for him.

And Arsenal would love to keep him on as a power sub, and it wouldn’t even be too much of a drain financially because Arsenal is literally drowning in money, but I can’t see either side being too keen on such an outcome.

I’m holding out hope that the two can find some middle ground. However, I’m somewhat resigned to the concept of life without Theo Walcott.

For more up-to-date news, follow Pain in the Arsenal on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

Next: Has Jack Wilshere been Forgotten?