Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Theo Walcott will return to the squad for Saturday's game against Southampton.

The Arsenal forward hasn't appeared for the Gunners since the 3-1 win over Stoke in September after sustaining an abdominal injury that required surgery.

Now Wenger has confirmed that Walcott will be in the squad to face the Saint despite the fact the 24-year-old has yet to play a reserve game.

Wenger told Arsenal Player: "Theo will be back for Saturday in the squad. He's completely fit again.

"He has not played for a long time, of course, he has not played even a reserve team game, but I will put him in the squad on Saturday. Yes [I will use him cautiously]."

The Frenchman is delighted to be welcoming Walcott back in to the team and insists he gives Arsenal a different dimension up front.

"He is one of the players who goes behind [the defence] without the ball.

"Strikers who get behind the defenders is a very important quality and Theo has that quality.

"Of course you miss a player like Theo Walcott. Theo had a good start to the season, he scored goals, he provided chances and had assists. He can always give you a different option in the game and that is of course vital.

"You always want to have a perfect balance [in attack]," Wenger added. "If you look at our results our balance was not too bad.

"But Theo has different qualities to other players and I am very pleased that he's back."

Wenger also had good news regarding Lukas Podolski, who is three weeks away from returning to first team action.

The German hasn't played since the second qualifying leg against Fenerbahce after tearing his hamstring but is back in full training.

"Podolski is not too far away," Wenger said, "I would say three weeks.

"He is doing fitness training on the pitch. He starts to do some ball work too, he still needs two or three weeks before we see him on the pitch for Arsenal."

With Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud seemingly struggling with the weight of pressure on his shoulders, the return of Waclott and Podolski, who both play centrally when called upon, will provide a timely boost the Arsenal's title challenge.

Topics:
#Premier League
#Arsenal
#Theo Walcott
#Lukas Podolski
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