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One Small Step For Theo, One Giant Leap For Arsenal Football Club

A look at the career of Theo Walcott and why Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger should trust him as a striker and give him the contract he wants to keep him at the club

Theo Walcott

When Theo James Walcott signed a contract for Arsenal in January 2006, the country didn’t hesitate to question the £12 million value on a player who hadn’t even met the big time; the Barclays Premier League. The new number 32 wouldn’t have guessed how much his life was going to change, especially in such a short amount of time.

“The height of my ambition at that point was to play a few games for Arsenal in the Premier League. Nothing more than that.” Theo said in his autobiography – Theo: Growing up fast

The humble 17 year old got much more than he bargained for, being called up to the England World Cup squad without a minute of Premiership football under his belt. Despite causing shock and confusion worldwide, this endearing, exciting and unpredictable talent was considered a risk worth taking by the ever-controversial Swede Sven-Göran Eriksson. With the inaugural quarterfinal penalty exit taking place in Germany that summer, Theo managed to play an astounding 0 minutes during the World Cup; an experience that proved as detrimental as it was beneficial for the London born forward.

Wonderkid. Supersub. Young prodigy. Theo’s special talents attracted the usual sticky labels to his footballing ability, the high intensity of the media highlighting his every move; whether good or bad. From his mazy 60-yard run against Liverpool in the Champions League, to becoming the youngest player to score a hat trick for his country, the world was (yes I am going for the old cliché) his oyster.

“I would like to put it out there that I would like to play up front” Walcott was quoted by the Telegraph as saying back in August 2011.

When legend Thierry Henry’s number 14 shirt was assigned to the speedy Englishman, natural comparisons were made to the two players styles. As if taking ammunition from the compliments, Theo has taken to the press to constantly reiterate his desire to play in the striker’s role. Despite 53 goals in his time with the first-team, the constant arrivals of main forward’s such as Gervinho, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud have done little to silence the passionate “striker.”

In an era where key players such as Samir Nasri, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie have decided to seek pastures new, Theo Walcott now takes centre stage in contract negotiations at his trophy-barren club. Despite pundits and fans ever-changing opinions on Theo Walcott, the desperation for him to sign a contract in what can only be described as a dark time for the club is getting to boiling point. In 6 months or in an even worse scenario just one month, Theo Walcott may no longer be an Arsenal player. He continues to declare that playing up front is an important factor for him, yet his 11 goals this season and his role in the attacking line-up have done little to settle his, as well as the fans, aggravation.

“We can buy Demba Ba.” “How about Huntelaar.” “I’ve always liked David Villa.” With a 5th place position behind arch rivals Tottenham, Arsenal have little to celebrate this Christmas, yet fans could wish for a worse present than getting their poster boy Theo Walcott to sign a new contract. The constant speculation by the media on who Arsène Wenger may or may not acquire for his squad is enough to drive a Gooner to White Hart Lane, but the solution to a faltering season may be closer to home than once thought.

An exciting, humble, talented, confident and finally consistent young man lurks behind the scenes, waiting for the trust in him to become not only an English, but also a world footballing legend. Waiting for the manager who spent a vast sum of money on him to take one more risk. One more big risk that he knows will be worth taking. Arsène Wenger, Stanley Kroenke, Ivan Gazidis, whoever wants to listen. Give “our boy” Theo Walcott the contract he wants.

It will be one small step for Theo and one giant leap for Arsenal Football Club…

Jason Phillips

Have your say in the comments section below. What do you think Theo Walcott should do?

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