How Will Wenger Replace Theo Walcott – Internal Solution Or New Signing?

By on January 8, 2014

With Theo Walcott cruelly being ruled out for the rest of the season with a serious knee injury, blogger Gooner Daily looks at how Arsenal can cope without the speedster over the coming months.

Theo Walcott

Injuries, they say, are part and parcel of the beautiful game but like a thief at night, it sneaks on you when you least expect it. Arsenal’s Theo Walcott has had his fair share of injury worries in the past with a dislocated shoulder being a big concern at the early part of his career with the club. He has also had some ankle and hamstring problems as well down the years.

When he managed to stay fit for the entirety of a season, he slammed in 21 goals and much was expected of him in the forthcoming campaign for both club and country. Walcott began the 2013/14 campaign at a rather slow pace in terms of his output in the final third, with his assist to Olivier Giroud in the North London Derby being his most telling contribution in the early part of the campaign.

He finally broke his goalscoring duck with a technically astute finish against Olympique Marseille but he suffered an abdominal injury in the build up to the home clash against Stoke and required a surgery to mitigate the problem.

With Olivier Giroud falling ill and Nicklas Bendtner suffering an injury to his ankle, Walcott was afforded a chance to start up front in the North London Derby against Tottenham on Saturday. His linkup play and movement was brilliant but his finishing was a bit wayward.

However, on the 81st minute after Arsene Wenger had made all his substitutions, Walcott jarred his knee fighting for a 50:50 ball. While he was stretched off, he trolled the Spurs fans by reminding them of the scoreline and they pelted coins at him, but the Arsenal fans responded by throwing red and white scarves at their hero while signing his songs.

View image on Twitter

In his post-match press conference, Wenger wasn’t too sure about how bad the injury was, citing that it might just be a stretched ligament or just a kick, but after an extensive scan on Monday, the club regrettably announced that the speedster has sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee, which means that he’ll be out for at least six months.

If you do your calculations right, you don’t need any soothsayer to tell you that Walcott’s 2013/14 campaign for the Gunners is over and he’ll play no part in England’s quest for glory in the World Cup which is very painful. On the international scene, Sven-Goran Eriksson put him (as a 16-year-old) on the plane to Germany in 2006, Fabio Capello didn’t deem him good enough to join the party in 2010 and now, injury has robbed him of a chance to shine in the big stage this time.

By the time Russia would be hosting the World Cup in 2018, Walcott will be 29-years-old, which ultimately means that it would probably be his last World Cup.

I can’t stress much about the loss of Walcott in these upcoming crucial clashes without revealing his stats so far this season with some aid from WhoScored,

 

Premier League

Champions League

Appearances (subs)

9 (4)

1 (1)

Goals

5

1

Assists

4

Shots (per game)

33 (2.5)

4 (2)

Dribbles (per game)

9 (0.7)

1 (0.5)

Key Passes (per game)

23 (1.8)

1 (0.5)

Total Passes (accurate passes)

258 (210)

28 (24)

Pass Completion percentage

81.4%

85.7%

Bookings (Yellow/Red)

(1/0)

In the Premier League, Walcott was in a rich vein of goalscoring form with five goals in his last five games and with Nicklas Bendtner injured, he might have had more opportunities to play through the middle and potentially increase his scoring rate.

In the wake of Walcott’s loss, Arsene Wenger will have to count on the services of other players in the squad to do the job on the right wing, and there’s also the wildcard of going into the transfer market to get a new attacker in the mold of Walcott.

Arsenal has a vast array of personnel that can be deployed in Walcott’s right wing position and I can look no further than Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and even Jack Wilshere – attacking midfielders that can cut in-field from the position. If Wenger chooses a more direct approach, he can call on the services of Serge Gnabry and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain that can supplement Walcott’s style of play in terms of pace, but they also bring their dribbling skills, raw power, strong shots and crossing ability to support the attack.

Even if Walcott seems to be covered on the right wing in terms of personnel that can take his place, questions are still raised whether his injury, coupled with Bendtner’s ankle injury, would force the manager’s hand to delve into the transfer market to sign a new forward.

Olivier Giroud is recovering from an illness and with a week’s rest, he’ll be odds on to return to the pitch against Aston Villa on Monday night. Beyond Giroud, Wenger can only summon the services of Lukas Podolski that hasn’t really impressed when he was deployed as a center forward. Podolski is another player with injury worries of his own, so can he be relied upon to stay fit for the remainder of the campaign?

It’s a big shame that the Gunners would miss a player of Walcott’s immense qualities because he offered Arsenal what no other winger in the team could – those raw reserves of blistering pace that they could use to exploit defenses.

I feel very sad for Walcott and I wish him a speedy recovery.

How do you think Arsenal can replace Walcott? Share your thoughts below.

This post was originally published on Gooner Daily – you can check out their Facebook page here.

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18 Comments

  1. Kadeterpase

    February 27, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    So far theo has been ireplaceble, dats all.

  2. Goonerous

    April 12, 2014 at 6:19 am

    GNABRY

    • sagunner

      August 15, 2015 at 8:32 pm

      Walcott is not worth the money we pay him, unless he is played on the wing. He is an absolute joke as a CF. I’d play Giroud in preference to Wallcott at CF every day of the week.

      We should have let him go for some big money and bought a winger who is also capable of helping in defense. When Wallcot has learned to be in the right place at the right time he may possibly score a few goals. Giroud is often in the right place but does not have the skills to find the back of the net as often as he should . He wastes many chances.
      He makes his own chance by being in the right place. Walcott is a ball watcher when playing through the middle – he doesn’t have a clue!

  3. Noor Sabria

    June 8, 2014 at 6:50 am

    he was a tough player that we missed him much

  4. ken fooski

    June 16, 2014 at 9:43 am

    thoe was a player dat arsenal miss

  5. philipiano

    July 11, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Well! Well! Well! Arsen wenger as just proven himself not to be a stingy man( Baba ijebu).

  6. Dany Young

    August 15, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Missy missy 2 walcot

  7. Atom Atomicity

    September 5, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Walcott can’t replace emself but for awhile we can used Gnabry, Chamberlain, Bellerin or take Sterling from Liverpool hence wish em quick recovery

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  12. StuartUrbina

    December 19, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy I stumbled across this during my hunt for something concerning this.

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    December 21, 2014 at 5:59 pm

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  14. Peter Kenny

    March 13, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Gnabry, Crowly, Zelalen and a few others can ably replace Theo.

  15. Jezen

    September 12, 2015 at 8:03 am

    That’s a pretty harsh post after the Arsenal just popepd in 7 goals and got the 3 pts they deserved.Defensively, I think we missed our BFG’s intelligence and positional play. I like the Captain and Kos as players, but BFG partnered with either one of them is best for this Arsenal.Offence is a different story. OK, the 1st half was drab but 6 goals in the 2nd half was great for Gooners worldwide.Like everyone else, I hope like hell that Theo signs an extension. This club is perfect for him and we really do need him as it would be quite damaging if we were to lose yet another big player.I like the idea of this new British project by Wenger. All 5 young Brits who recently signed extensions will be sure fire starters for this team is a few years time . . . even Ramsey!But in my opinion, Theo is crucial to this new project. Jack may be the future leader and AOC may be the next big thing, but Walcott is ahead of all the youngsters in terms of development and he is showing signs of finally starting to blossom and fulfill his potential. If we lose him, this new British project does not stand a chance and I think Wenger knows this.With Theo along for the ride, we may just soon all be saying Arsene Knows again to all the doubters and haters out there.The wild card in all this that unfortunately holds a great influence is the greedy agent, and for that I am scared for AFC and this situation with Theo.For now though, let’s just all enjoy the Arsenal scoring for fun and at will again! 4 1

  16. nelson

    February 28, 2016 at 12:09 am

    arsenal need draxler! to fill the void of Walcott.!

  17. john

    March 8, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    i think iwobi is the next man move up
    or even Mayhrez

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