It’s the longest running transfer story in the Premier League, but Arsene Wenger, ever the optimist, still thinks that striker Theo Walcott will sign a new deal with the club this month.
Wenger has spoken repeatedly of his intention to keep the England forward at the Emirates Stadium, and the Arsenal boss said at a press conference on Thursday:
“We are talking.
“It is very difficult to be predictable in these kinds of situations but our desire is there to do it as quickly as possible and ready to do it.”
Walcott is having a career year, leading all Arsenal scorers with 14 goals in all competitions so far this season.
We have heard for months that Walcott wanted to play more down the middle, instead of out wide, and he showed with his hat-trick against Newcastle at the Emirates last Saturday, that he has the potential to become a Thierry Henry type of center forward.
“He definitely has all the attributes to play up front,” said team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Walcott following the Newcastle win.
“The goals are coming. He has proven he can do a really good job for us up there.
“For someone with his pace it’s hard for anyone to defend against and when he gets the service he can always punish teams so he’s doing really well.
“His performance was amazing. You could see after his first goal he had a spring in his step but he has been like that all season. He has been brilliant.”
The Arsenal fans who spent a large portion of the last 18 months questioning Walcott’s ability were instead urging Wenger to “sign him up” on Saturday as the player saluted all four corners of the ground on an impromptu lap of honour.
Walcott turned down a new contract in the summer and has failed to reach an agreement with the club ever since.
Was the Walcott signing has dominated the headlines, Arsene Wenger has been quietly reaching agreement over new long-term deals with a number of their other young stars, including Kieran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Carl Jenkinson.
Note that they are all British, as Arsene Wenger has made a 180 degree turnaround and decided to make the spine of the new Arsenal British instead of French.