Theo Walcott relishing senior England role
Theo Walcott feels he is ready to shine in a more senior role at international level
Theo Walcott has revealed that he feels like a senior member of the England squad and is relishing the increased responsibility of helping Roy Hodgson's side secure World Cup qualification.
Walcott was thrust onto the international scene aged just 17 in 2006 by Sven-Goran Eriksson, becoming the youngest ever England player to earn a senior cap before a non-playing role in World Cup squad in Germany.
The 24-year-old has gone on to play 34 times for his country to date, but is still aiming to replicate without doubt his best display in an England shirt - a hat-trick away at Croatia in a crucial World Cup qualifier three years ago.
After enjoying his best goalscoring season for Arsenal last term, Walcott has insisted that he is excited by the opportunity to become an integral part of the England side, with the winger finally feeling like he belongs in the national team.
He told The Sun: "I feel like I'm one of the oldest guys in the team at the moment. To come into this England set-up and feel like that is surreal. But it's very exciting too - the balance we have in this team is fresh. It's great to see some of the younger players coming in.
"I remember I was in the same shoes a few years back, scoring a hat-trick against Croatia. Any of them could do that. You know what, I feel like I should be here. Maybe a few years ago I was timid, but I feel like this is where I should be and where I want to play my football.
"I enjoy working with the manager, he has so much faith in me as well. With the way I've been playing for Arsenal, he's seeing that with England and I'm starting to show that belief in myself as well. I'm performing like I do for Arsenal. I feel good, I've had a good pre-season and feel like I've started the season where I finished the last one.
Three Lions boss Hodgson has a number of injury concerns heading into the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine this week, with Daniel Strurrige and Jack Wilshere struggling for full fitness.
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