Walcott wants Arsenal striker role

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Theo Walcott is keen to set the record straight about his current contract stand-off with Arsenal, insisting that he wants to remain in north London.

The 23-year-old is adamant that it's football concerns - as opposed to financial ones - that are the main sticking point in negotiations, with the England star eager to be deployed more centrally in an attacking role.

Walcott also doesn't want to be tarnished with the same brush as other players who have made high profile departures from the Emirates Stadium in the past few years, reaffirming his commitment to the Gunners' cause.

"It is all about the football, I have always made decisions about the football," he confirmed at the launch of the Football Association's and Mars' Just Play Free For One Week campaign earlier this week.

"I never wanted to go and said I wanted to leave. I have always wanted to stay at Arsenal and like I said before I hope something can get sorted out and I can get back playing.

"I am not affected by money. It is a case of having trust in me up front. I was signed as a striker and it is about time, I want to play up front. I have learnt my game on the wing. When you look at what I did last year I think I can do even more. Hopefully I will be given the opportunity. I am desperate for it."

Walcott netted twice in last night's 6-1 Capital One Cup victory over Coventry City, but was still positioned out on the wing, with French international Olivier Giroud preferred instead to lead the line.

However, the manner of his performance, with two well-taken goals, is sure to put more pressure on Arsene Wenger to consider the ambitious youngster as a striker.

"Hopefully I will get the chance to play up front because I know what I can do," he added. "It is the manager's decision and I will always respect that. I will play anywhere for the team but it's about time I played up front. I love scoring goals and I love playing."

While a number of players have left Arsenal for more money over the past few years - Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Robin van Persie - Walcott says he doesn't hold the same motivation, as proved by his past actions.

"When I first joined Arsenal there were other opportunities there, which I turned down. This summer there were other opportunities to go, so if it was about money I would have gone.

"I have always wanted to stay. Hopefully something can be agreed, like I have always said. But it takes time, it is one of these things that is not going to happen overnight. Hopefully something can be agreed."

Theo also took part in a SunSport webchat - where he answered fans questions on a number of different subjects. Watch the video [above]!

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