Theo Walcott appears to be edging closer to signing a new contract with Arsenal, and it's good thing since his current deal expires in one year.
The English forward looks to have finally recovered from a serious injury he sustained in an FA Cup fixture against rivals Tottenham in January 2014, one that saw him side-lined for a year.
The return of the Ki...
After Walcott's return many were sceptical as to whether the speedy winger was capable of making an impact in the team once again. His role as a wide-man was coming under huge criticism as he regularly neglected his defensive duties and seemed to no longer be a viable option in the role, with Aaron Ramsey being used in the position to good effect.
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Nevertheless it appears Walcott may be making a resurgence in the team as a centre-forward and it leads me to think that this could be the role that could define his career - a career which has stagnated of late.
During the final two games of last season Walcott operated as a centre-forward, and was even chosen ahead of Olivier Giroud in the FA Cup final despite the Frenchmen having arguably his finest season with the Gunners.
Walcott notched a hat trick in the first of these two games against West Brom - his first in that game being one of the strikes of the season. Then he scored the crucial opener in the final and played a vital role in Arsenal's flexible forward line which Aston Villa simply could not come to terms with.
He finally seems to have matured into the striker he always wanted to be, and one that Arsenal may need to help fuel their title challenge. Goals were never an issue with Walcott, but now he seems more composed and clinical as a player making him ideal for Arsenal's system.
The mobility Walcott brings to the forward line is also something which further enhances Arsene Wenger's philosophy of 'Wenger Ball', making Arsenal's attacks quicker and more penetrative.
His performance in Arsenal's 3-1 win over Everton in the Barclays Asia was further proof that Walcott seems to have developed a more clinical and dangerous side to his game - one that is best utilised as a central striker.
He was asked to play alongside Giroud in a wider role but Walcott was the forward who appeared to look sharpest in striking areas and scored the opening goal.
I have previously said before that while Giroud's performances have been very positive over the last 12 months, I believe his style of play and inconsistency can hinder Arsenal. While I don't think Walcott is the finished article I believe his characteristics, along with his style of play, have more to offer Arsenal and the talented crop of players currently at the club.
Players such as Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil will thrive with Walcott's runs in behind, while Alexis Sanchez will love the fluidity and flexibility present with the England international in the forward line.
He still has a lot to prove, and Arsene Wenger may yet sign a new striker. However, I believe holding on to Walcott could be one of the most important pieces of business for Arsenal.
Arsenal fans, do you agree? Is Walcott good enough as a central striker to be kept on this summer? Let us know in the comments box below.
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