Theo Walcott has finally ended speculation over his future after signing a new contract with Arsenal, the club have confirmed on Arsenal.com today.
The 23-year-old has been the subject of intense media interest over the last few months after refusing to sign a new contract with Arsenal last summer.
The BBC claim the likes of Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea all showed an interest in the winger in recent months and speculation he could leave the Gunners intensified as he still hadn’t signed a new at the Emirates as we reached the opening of the January transfer window.
However, Theo has finally committed his long-term future to Arsenal with the clubs official website confirming he’s put pen-to-paper on a new contract, and Arsene Wenger telling Arsenal.com:
“We are all delighted that Theo has signed a new contract. He joined us as a 16-year-old and since then has developed very well to become an extremely important player for both Arsenal Football Club and England.
“Theo is a strong player and also a great person, and the combination of his ability and pace always make him such a valuable asset either from the flanks or down the middle. Theo’s contract extension now gives us a strong nucleus of ambitious young players who have committed to the Club and want to be successful with us as a group.”
Theo also expressed his delight at the news:
“I am very happy to have signed a new contract here at Arsenal. Thanks to everyone for their continued support, especially the manager, everyone at the club and most importantly the fans. I have made it clear from the start that I wanted to stay at Arsenal so I am pleased we have agreed a deal that everyone is happy with. What’s important now is for the team to realise its potential and win trophies.”
There is no confirmation from the club over the exact terms of the deal but the BBC claim the contract is worth £100,000-a-week making Theo the clubs highest paid player. Is Walcott our best player and worthy of being paid the most? No. But that’s not the point here. It was important that we didn’t lose another first team player due to contractual issues and it sends the right message out to not only the fans, but the players as well. That we’re prepared to do what it takes to keep our important first team players and we haven’t simply become a ‘selling club’.
The BBC’s report also claims the deal was agreed late on Thursday night after Walcott’s representatives spent all of the day in negotiations. It’s understood that a five-year deal worth £90,000-a-week plus a £3m signing on bonus was rejected by the Walcott camp before a three-and-a-half-year deal worth £100,000-a-week was agreed.
It’s excellent news for AFC. We won’t be losing another important player to one of our rivals. Walcott won’t be joining Chelsea, or United, or Liverpool in the immediate future, he’ll be with Arsenal. But perhaps most importantly, Arsene Wenger can finally concentrate on bringing in some new faces during the final days of the transfer window!
What do Arsenal fans think about the news Walcott has signed a new deal? Get involved in the comments section below.