As we all know, Theo Walcott has been at Arsenal since the tender age of 16, but 10 years down the line at a prime age of 26, we have not seen him reach his full potential as we had once hoped.
Arsene Wenger is determined to keep the Englishman on his books for the foreseeable future though, despite speculation over his future with halting contract negotiations and only a year to left to run on his current deal.
Having just made his 300th appearance for the club, Wenger commented on Walcott’s “special destiny” in his programme notes, and reiterated his point in his press conference today.
“Special destiny because it’s unusual that a boy at 17 years old goes to the World Cup.
“After, he had the problem when England went to Brazil he was not selected by Capello… In 2014 he was injured.
“It’s special when a boy goes at 17 to the World Cup, you think he will make four or five appearances [at World Cups].
“He’s a special player with as well special tests on the mental front, and he overcame them all.
“He will have a special destiny as a player because nothing happens like planned with him, but he always responds in a very strong way.”
Walcott has spent much of this season out after being hampered by an injury he picked up in last years FA Cup Third Round win over Tottenham. Despite coming back into the fold during the latter stages of this season, he has be unable to break back into the starting eleven following a great run of form by the team.
However, Arsene Wenger claimed his desire to keep Walcott at the start of May: “Being 26 to 32 is the best age as a striker and I wouldn’t like to miss that golden age.”
The manager thinks there’s a lot more to come from Theo, and hopefully he’s right.