Walcott changes his mind on role at Arsenal

Date published: Wednesday 3rd August 2016 9:34

Theo Walcott: Confused

Theo Walcott says he wants to reinvent himself as a right winger, where he started his Arsenal career in 2006.

The 27-year-old has made the awkward statement four years after claiming he wanted to be a striker and then echoing those thoughts again just 11 months ago.

Walcott has been used as a central striker by Arsene Wenger, but the French boss has preferred to go with Olivier Giroud or Alexis Sanchez. And now Walcott has made the uncomfortable admission that he is planning on making the right wing role his own again.

“I have been here 10 years,” Walcott told the Daily Mail. “There is always competition for places. It doesn’t matter what club you are at. I always believe that I can get back to where I want to be. I’m sure if I keep working hard then I will get there.

“I have told the manager that I want to be known for playing on the right again. I can play up front. I want to know where I want to play. The manager has said I can play up front. It depends on what game it is.

“I know I can do a job up front, as well as on the right. I want to make my position on the right – that’s where I know where I am now.”

Whether his desire to play out wide again will be enough to resurrect his Gunners career is open to debate, but when you consider Arsenal’s apparent pursuit of  widemen Riyad Mahrez and Julian Draxler then the answer to that is most probably ‘no’.

Theo Walcott, Arsenal

Back in September 2012 Walcott, who missed out on a spot in England’s Euro 2016, said: “It is a case of having trust in me up front. I was signed as a striker and it is about time, I want to play up front. I have learnt my game on the wing. When you look at what I did last year I think I can do even more. Hopefully I will be given the opportunity. I am desperate for it.”

The former Southampton youngster, who has failed to score double figures in his last three seasons, reiterated those feelings just 11 months ago.

“I have always said to the manager that I can always play in a three-man forward line so it is a good option for him,” he said in September 2015.

“At the moment he believes I can do it up front and the more I play up front, the more the players will see the runs I make and what I do on the pitch as well.”

Wenger thought Walcott should have been part of England’s Euro 2016 squad and he confirmed the forward will not leave Arsenal in the summer.

“I think he should go. He has gone through a bad spell. He has had a difficult period but in the last month, he has come back very strong.

“He could be a positive surprise for England. He will be here next season,” said Wenger in May.

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