Captain Thomas Vermaelen feels Theo Walcott is invaluable to Arsenal - but accepts there is little his team-mates can do to stop the England forward walking away at the end of the season.

Walcott was deployed in his preferred central striker's role at Reading on Monday night, where he netted the final goal in a 5-2 win which lifted the Gunners back up to within two points of fourth place. The 23-year-old is currently in negotiations over a contract extension with the club, but - as the January transfer window looms - there is little indication of a swift conclusion.

"Of course we want him to stay, but that is something that is going on between the player and the club. I don't know what is going on behind the scenes - we don't talk about it, because that is going on in football all the time," Vermaelen said. "It's the job of the board and the club what they are going to do with it so we can't do anything about it."

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#Reading
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#Thomas Vermaelen
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#Theo Walcott