Arsenal had to lick their wounds on Wednesday morning knowing they gave a spirited performance at Monaco the night before but in truth they were once more up against it due to an unforgivable performance in a first leg home tie that they really should have won, instead they fall at the last 16 for a fifth consecutive campaign.
You could be forgiven for thinking all the talk would be about Arsenal getting back on track in the Premier league as they look to close the gap on Pellegrini’s Manchester City who sit precariously one point ahead. In truth all the talk has been about one man, Theo Walcott’s contract looks set to go the distance as it did 2 years ago when he finally put pen to paper on a £90,000 a week deal.
This will be the most important contract Walcott will ever sign in his career, he is entering his best years as a professional footballer but for a man who has been hampered with injuries will Arsenal cave in to his wage demands? it is thought that Walcott is holding out for a wage increase with Arsenal not really budging on his current weekly wage this could go down to the wire.
Rumours have already started to circulate that Liverpool are monitoring his situation as they have their very own contract rebel. Raheem Sterling has been linked with moves to Real Madrid and Manchester City in recent weeks and it would not be surprising if Brendan Rodgers saw Walcott as a perfect replacement.
Walcott has only managed 8 appearances all season due to injury he has found chances at a minimum since his return and has only started 3 Premier League games since regaining full fitness. He has looked rusty which is to be expected but with the likes of Alexis Sanchez having a great first season at the Emirates and the emergence of Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain it is not completely impossible that Walcott is reassessing his options.
It is no secret that the England winger yearns to play centrally and it could be argued that was the very reason he signed on for another 3 years. His contract was up and he was given a few games through the middle which seemed to convince him to stay put. Things could be differently this time around, he isn’t getting the games and with Danny Welbeck being preferred on the right by Arsene Wenger there may well be a little voice in Walcott’s head persuading him to look elsewhere.
It is no secret that when Walcott plays Arsenal have another dimension especially when he works in tandem with Olivier Giroud, opposition have no idea how high or deep to position their defensive line. If they are deep Giroud will cause them problems aerially and likewise if they are too high then Walcott will punish them with his pace.
Walcott was ridiculed on social media following the 3-0 victory at home to West Ham on Saturday but fans need to be patient, it is not easy coming back into a Premier League game when you are still trying to regain your sharpness given the chances he will come good and Arsenal should be doing everything in their power to tie him down for at least another 3 years.
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