Theo Walcott has revealed he would like to be deployed in a more central role for Arsenal alongside main frontman Robin van Persie – but says he is more than happy to play out wide for the benefit of the team.
Walcott has endured another inconsistent season for the Gunners, impressing at times with his clinical finishing but frustrating in equal measures from his position on the right wing.
Walcott featured heavily as Arsenal picked up eight wins from their last nine games, a run of form which has taken them clear of Chelsea, Newcastle and Tottenham in the scrap for a top four finish.
The England winger has also found his goal-scoring boots of late and hit the back of the net against Aston Villa and QPR, but says he would have more success if he were moved infield to play alongside leading goalscorer Robin van Persie.
“You don’t want to change the formation at this stage of the season when you are fighting for third,' Walcott told The Evening Standard. “People forget I am a striker and I’m learning the right-wing trade more and more.
“I want to play up front but I am not the sort of player to play up there on my own. I need a big man with me. That’s not the way we play at Arsenal so we’ll see.
“I am not the sort of player who likes to tell the manager I want to play up front and argue why it isn’t happening. You can’t change the system now but hopefully it’ll happen next year.
“I love scoring goals - that’s what I want to do. To play with Robin up front would be a dream. We link well together and I think we could form a great partnership."
Walcott, who has been accused of being wasteful in possession throughout his Arsenal career, concedes there is still plenty of scope for improvement in his game, and admits that Arsene Wenger has discussed with him how to become a better player.
“I would like to be more aggressive in matches and the manager has said that to me," Walcott said.
“Not by kicking people but by running at players. That’s the main improvement I need to make. When I play my best football, I am aggressive and not afraid of getting hurt. I am not afraid to put a foot in and that’s what he wants.
“I set myself a target and always say three successful crosses and a couple of shots in a game and that’s good. If you get a corner, it’s an end product for the team, the same with free-kicks, anything like that.
“You don’t want to change the formation at this stage of the season when you are fighting for third,' he said. 'People forget I am a striker and I’m learning the right-wing trade more and more.”