Arsene Wenger says Theo Walcott needs to become a more instinctive finisher as he prepares for a season as a centre-forward for Arsenal.
Walcott was handed the central striker’s berth against Stoke on Saturday and responded with the opening goal in a 2-0 win at Emirates Stadium, though he could and perhaps should have scored more.
Wenger believes the 26-year-old needs to score some more goals to gain the striker’s instinct in front of goal.
“Considering our situation with Theo and Olivier, in the coming months you could say he will be more through the middle,” Wenger said.
“You become an instinctive finisher once you have a bag of goals behind you and he needs a few more goals, a little bit more spontaneously. He has an eye for the goal and a short back-lift and that is a common thing for top scorers.
“Quick, short back-lift and he gets into good little pockets. He is the whole player.”
Walcott, meanwhile, acknowledges that Arsenal have not hit top form yet this season but believes their Premier League rivals will be worried once they do.
“People may not have seen the best of us yet but we’re keeping clean sheets and creating a lot of chances,” Walcott said.
“We’re going to push on and when we hit our peak, people will be more and more worried. We don’t just want to fight for that fourth position. We do need a challenge for the title this time.
“We’re slowly getting to where we want to be.
“Its the sign of a good team if you’re steady going but still getting the results. No one is going to remember the start of the season. It’s all about how we finish.”