Theo Walcott hopes to continue justifying Arsene Wenger’s decision to give him a chance up front after scoring in Arsenal’s win over Leicester.
Wenger was criticised for failing to sign another centre-forward over the summer, but with Danny Welbeck out injured, Walcott has been given his chance to stake a claim for the lone striker’s position.
Walcott got the nod ahead of Olivier Giroud to start at Leicester on Saturday and responded with the opening goal, his 12th in his last 13 starts for Arsenal.
Giroud later scored himself after replacing Walcott 10 minutes from time, but the England forward believes his performance at the King Power Stadium was one of his best since he suffered a serious knee injury last year.
“It will be up there since the knee injury and, before that, the Tottenham game,” he told the club’s official site. “I have always said I want to play up front. The manager has had faith in me and I just want to repay him.”
Alexis Sanchez scored Arsenal’s other three goals in their 5-2 on Saturday, and Walcott is confident the Chile forward will build on his first goals for the Gunners since their FA Cup final win over Aston Villa in May.
“I am sure he is going to flourish now with many, many more important goals. It has been a long time coming, he knows that himself. But he is very pleased,” Walcott said.
“He is a top-quality player and even when he is not scoring goals he works so hard for us. He tracks back and does a lot for the team.”