Returning Walcott 'like a new signing' for Gunners

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Arsene Wenger believes the return of Theo Walcott could feel like a new signing and boost Arsenal for what is set to be a make-or-break run of games.

The Gunners could go top of the Barclays Premier League with victory over struggling Bolton at Emirates Stadium.

The Arsenal manager having Walcott - back from a rib problem and who has made only 10 appearances - available again along with the imminent rehabilitation of striker Nicklas Bendtner from groin surgery - can make a real impact as his squad gear up for a crucial few weeks which will see them face Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

"We are not close to signing anybody at the moment and we are so focused on the game that we forget a little bit to speak about transfers," said Wenger.

"We have so many players out that our talks are more focused on 'when is he back, when he is back' and it looks like any player we can get back is like a transfer because we have not seen some players this season - like Walcott, like Bendtner.

"They can be fresh for the second part of the season and they can give us a big push."

Although beating Bolton for the second time in four days could send his men above Chelsea on goal difference, having then played the same amount of games, Wenger is not about to put the champagne on ice just yet.

"It has a psychological meaning, that we are there and to fight at the top of the table, but mathematically it has not too much significance because it is a long way to go," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online.

"I am not stupid. We have won nothing yet. Yes, we have won some credibility. However, that is not enough. We want more, at least we are in a position to fight for it and have a go.

"That is what we want to do, but we know as well that there is a long way to go. I have the confidence that my team will give absolutely everything. I trust their hunger, I trust their appetite and I trust their spirit."

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Theo Walcott

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