Arsenal: Theo Walcott really needs to consider leaving


Theo Walcott has had limited first team opportunities this season for Arsenal and that prospect does not look to be changing in the future. 

Theo Walcott started his first game for Arsenal this season in the team’s 3-1 Europa League win against Bundesliga side FC Koln. Before being substituted in the 82nd minute to teenage sensation Reiss Nelson, Walcott missed a handful of opportunities to net for the Gunners.

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Walcott’s performance came under fire from fans and also Arsenal legend Martin Keown. During the half time analysis, Keown stated:

"“Players looked confused, puzzled… I’m not sure what Theo Walcott’s doing in the match.”"

Walcott has been the center of frustration for many seasons now, with fans believing he should be contributing much more. He is the longest serving Arsenal player, joining when he was 16 in 2006.

In his 11 years at Arsenal, Walcott has managed to lift three FA cups and two Community Shields. He has only managed 65 Premier League goals in 11 years, only reaching double figures twice. Quite a poor record considering he has been deployed as a striker as well.

With Walcott failing to live up to his early promise and potential, should now be the right time to finally leave Arsenal?

Walcott is 28 years of age and he is still not a regular starter. In fact he has been limited to domestic and Europa league appearances this season, failing to make a start in the League. He hasn’t even determined his best position yet, wanting to play striker one season, and then asking to go back to the wing the next.

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With the World Cup just months away, Walcott needs to be playing regularly in order to be picked for the England Squad. He failed to make it to the 2014 Euro’s and has not featured for the national team for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers recently.

Fans are quickly turning on Walcott, claiming he should be much more of a leader and have a much bigger influence in the dressing room considering his time spent at the club. Being compared to Thierry Henry by Arsene Wenger, Walcott has not come close to the influence Henry had on the team in terms of success and trophies.

The formation change also sees Walcott position-less. He is unable to play as a wing back, nor is he the best option to play behind the striker, with the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez the obvious stand-outs, but the list goes on in terms of better options than Walcott.

A 28 year old Walcott looks less a threat than his former self, an 18 year old speedster with amazing dribbling techniques. It’s incredible to think his performances were more influential as a 18-23 year older, than they are now. One outstanding performance was the Arsenal’s 2-1 Champions League win against Barcelona at only 22 years of age.

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It’s time for Walcott to man up, admit his future as an Arsenal player is bleak, stray away from the £140,000 a week if need be and play for a club he can actually take forward. Walcott is replaceable; a young Reiss Nelson looks to offer much more than Walcott does. Even Alex Iwobi has the ability to slip into Walcott’s position and contribute more.