Theo Walcott says he has “a plan” about where he would like to fit into the Arsenal team this season.
The England forward enjoyed one of his most productive seasons for the Gunners, scoring 19 goals in 37 appearances last season.
Ironically, he was dropped from Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions to squad that faced Germany and Lithuania in March and the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon is further likely to hinder his chances at first-team football at The Emirates.
If Arsene Wenger sticks to a 3-4-3 formation in which he employed in the second part of the season, then Walcott’s normal position on the wing is removed and record-buy Lacazette, Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will all be gunning for places in Arsenal’s attack.
But the 28-year-old pacey forward said he has spoken to Wenger about where he can fit into that system, and sounded confident that he can have a role to play.
“I can play in any of those front three [positions]. I won’t say exactly where I’ve asked the manager I want to [play], but I have a plan. I have clarity now about what I want to do,” said Walcott.
“But the main thing is to work hard, when you work hard you’ll be in the team. It’s as simple as that. And that’s what I’m going to do, put my head down, work hard and see where it takes me.”
Walcott has two years remaining on his Gunners deal and has in the past been linked with a move away, although Wenger was very complimentary about Walcott last term and the exit speculation has been non-existent this summer.
“He has become more of a complete player, more efficient,” said Wenger in March when asked about Walcott’s development.
“He does better in the tactical part of his game and works hard defensively and offensively. He has been less injured as well, that helps.”