Friday, January 18, 2013

Is Arsenal doing the right thing keeping Walcott?

Despite being just 23 years old, name Theo Walcott goes back a long time, considering how long the talented ex-Southampton player has been under the spotlight. Walcott is Southamptons youngest first team player, making his debut as a 16 year old. He is also the record holder for the youngest player to play a competitive match for a senior England national team, being just 17 years and 75 days old.

It was becoming quickly obvious that pacey striker was not going to stay with the Saints for a prolonged period and in winter of 2006, Arsenal lured him with a £5M bid, potentially rising to £12M.

Comparisons with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry were inevitable, but Walcott's progress at Arsenal has stalled to say the least, but he featured for Arsenal on regular basis, making over 20 league appearances every season since his arrival.

Due to his quick feet and ability on the ball, Walcott was often deployed as a winger on the right side of the pitch, which he disliked, but it made more sense for a player of his physicality to be operating on the wings, rather than the middle of attack.

Walcott saga is one of the many in Arsenal's recent times, but it looks as though this one is here to stay, with him finally agreeing on a 5-year deal which will make him one of Arsenal's top earners, making £100,000 per week, after rejecting a £75,000 per week deal in summer.

But the question is, does a player of his (in)consistency really deserve £5M annually, same sum his former teammate, Gareth Bale, is making with Arsenal's arch-rivals, Tottenham.

Walcott tends to be overshadowed far too often and his scoring record is rather poor for a striker, scoring just 34 league goals in 166 league appearances for the Gunners, though it is fair to point out that Walcott has spent a good deal on the wing, and even more on the bench.

Could have Arsenal spent their money wiser? It remains to be seen by Walcott's performances.

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