Arsenal's Theo Walcott must finally unleash his true potential

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Last week marked ten years since Arsenal parted with an initial £5 million to sign Theo Walcott from Southampton as one of England's hottest prospects.

Since then, the 26-year-old has just one major trophy to his name - the 2014/15 FA Cup - having missed out on the previous season's triumph through injury.

Despite his lengthy tenure, Walcott is yet to fulfil his true potential - but the time has come for him to stop being just a man for the future.


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It seems no one is yet aware of the Englishman's best position. Walcott has claimed he sees himself as a striker, but admitted he needs to improve in the role: "It is something I will definitely learn and get better at, but if I can create more space for other players to come into the game, that is important as well.”

Now in his mid-20's, the England international should have established himself in the role he believes is his best. Having spent his time at Arsenal playing alongside and learning from the likes of Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie, Walcott must apply such experiences to his own game.

This is the first time in a number of years that the Gunners have a real chance of winning the Premier League title and a squad capable of mouting a sustained challenge - and with his undoubted talent, now is the time for Walcott to show his mettle.

With the creative talents of Mesut Ozil at the top of his game and Alexis Sanchez returning from injury, Walcott is surrounded by the sort of quality that should see him thrive.

One of the mains reasons behind the forward's failure to fulfil his potential is a lack of ruthlessness. He often comes across as too nice, both on and off the pitch, and must add aggression and desire to his game.

Against Chelsea on Sunday, the Gunners were beaten by a goal from a player that epitomises ruthlessness - Diego Costa.

The Spaniard isn't everyone's cup of tea for the various controversies he's been to blame for, but aggression is a big part of his game and proved particularly valuable during the Blues' Premier League triumph last season, not least their win over Arsene Wenger's side.

By no means should Walcott look towards Costa as a role model for success, but he should certainly take a leaf out of the 27-year-old's book.

Pace, movement and finishing are already strong weapons in the Englishman's arsenal, but with added vigour going forward, Walcott can yet establish himself as the feared forward that everyone expected him to become as a budding 16-year-old.

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Thierry Henry
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