Theo Walcott Should Leave Behind Striker Dreams For Arsenal’s Sake


Theo Walcott finally found time as a striker, but it may be more beneficial to Arsenal if he leaves that role behind and moves out wide for good.

Theo Walcott has always wanted to be a striker at Arsenal. He thought he could be that center forward that leads the line just like Thierry Henry was. Wenger had been overly reluctant to give the Englishman a shot at the role, but this year he finally succumbed. After a very impressive showing against West Brom to close out last year, Theo Walcott made a statement that he could play striker.

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With how long contract negotiations took, surely his role was discussed and added to his terms as well.

Since that time, Walcott has been given his shot and he has looked pretty good. In eight starting appearances at striker, he has scored three goals and assisted on three as well (stats via WhoScored). That is a pretty impressive turn out for someone new to the role. 

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Not only that, but it was the pressure from Theo Walcott’s performances that kept Olivier Giroud in top form. It is something that Giroud has cited as one of the keys to his success this year.

So that settles it then, Walcott as a striker is perfect, right?

Not so fast. In the wake of Arsenal’s injury crisis, Walcott has been forced out wide, to his old winger position. The results have been just as you would have expected, but with some added twists. Not only does Walcott still get his attempts on goal like we are used to seeing from his time at striker, but he has learned how to defend as well. It is such a welcome sight that it still looks like a novelty when it happens. Walcott has made seven tackles and five interceptions in his last three games on the wings. Considerably more than his time up front.

Not only that, but he has also learned how to be a more vital piece of this Arsenal offense. There were times where, at striker, Walcott would only manage 20 touches. In his past two games at right wing, Walcott has made 80 touches. He is looking like more of a dribbling threat on the ball as well.

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All of these things prove that at right wing, he may find more effectiveness than at striker.

Now that we have covered that, let’s talk about what moving to the right wing would do for Arsenal. First of all, suiting up opposite Alexis would be a fantastic opportunity. Seeing as how Arsenal is relying on Campbell and the Ox on the right as is, a little experience could go a long way.

Plus, it would allow Wenger to move for a new striker, ideally. Walcott can still rotate to striker from time to time, but, by striving to be a striker when he is needed on the wings, Walcott is handcuffing Wenger from getting a new striker while preventing Giroud from that competitive environment.

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It just seems to be the right move to shift out wide. Let Walcott stretch his legs on the pitch more often and at a more impacting role on the right wing and let Wenger sign a new striker like Chicharito. Everyone wins.