The main news concerning Arsenal this morning is the revelation that Theo Walcott has committed his future to the club by signing a four-year-deal worth £60,000 a week.
This news was expected, but is still very good to hear. Since joining the club back in 2006 from Southampton, Walcott has made a significant impact in Arsenal colours and has firmly established himself in Arsene Wenger’s starting eleven.
In total, he has made 103 appearances for the club and has found the back of the net on 14 occasions. Speaking about signing a new deal, Walcott said that he was ‘absolutely delighted’ to show his loyalty to the Arsenal cause.
The England international went on to say that he is ‘so happy’ at the Emirates because he is working with the ‘best manager in the world’ in Arsene Wenger. Walcott was also very thankful to everyone who had helped him get to ‘this point in my career’.
One of the final points that Walcott made was that he anticipated ‘many successful seasons ahead’ and this is the point I wanted to touch upon today – what can Walcott achieve as a player? Just how good is he?
By the time his contract runs its course in four years time, there is no doubt that Walcott will want to win some trophies with Arsenal. There is only so long he can be an integral part in the ‘potential’ of this team.
In fact, should Walcott start to perform like a world-class player on a more consistent basis, it could lead to some of the other Arsenal youngsters to kick on. Therefore, the team as a whole can become more serious about challenging for major trophies.
So, in my opinion, Walcott is integral to Arsenal’s future. He is one of the most talented youngsters in the team and his rise could coincide with the team’s rise. When he is in the starting eleven and on form, Arsenal are a better team. This could be even more the case in the coming years.
How good is Walcott though? When you compare him with Cristiano Ronaldo, is he at anywhere near the same level? Possibly not. However, he could be as important to Arsenal as Ronaldo is to Manchester United. They are different players, but he can be as influential.
Opposition teams need to fear Walcott every time they play Arsenal. He needs to become the man that they put two players on in an attempt to halt his progress. Then, players such as Andrei Arshavin can run riot elsewhere on the pitch.
There is no doubt that Walcott was disappointing in the two games against Manchester United. This may well be down to his lack of games, but I would still like to have seen more from him.
The next couple of seasons are crucial to Walcott’s future. He needs to show just how good he is on a more consistent basis. He needs to be in contention for the PFA Players Player of the year every season and he needs to help Arsenal progress as a team to win more trophies.
There is plenty of pressure on Walcott’s shoulders, but he can handle it. Show us what you’ve got Theo. You are the future of Arsenal Football Club.
By Thomas Rooney