Wenger wants Theo Walcott to stay at Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has insisted he wants Theo Walcott to remain under his tutelage in North London.

There has been speculation that the England international will depart the Emirates in the January transfer window, after contract talks over an extension to Walcott’s current deal, which expires at the end of this season, stalled with the Gunners unwilling to match Walcott’s wage demands.

However, this appears to have had no effect on the 23-year-old’s form so far this season, where he has hit 7 goals in 11 appearances in all competitions, only three of which have been as a starter. The last three of those strikes came in Arsenal’s remarkable 7-5 League Cup victory over Reading.

A further round of contract negotiations have been reportedly set for mid-November and according to the London Evening Standard, Wenger hopes that his young forward will stay at Arsenal.

“Theo was superb [against Reading],” said Wenger. “I always said that he will be a striker so we are on the same wavelength there.”

“During the contract talks you have to give him credit for the way he’s committed to the team and the way he behaves.”

Walcott has publicly stated his desire to be played as a central striker rather than out wide on the right where he is nominally deployed by his manager.

“He has the qualities to play as a striker and I hope he will be a striker at Arsenal,” added Wenger. “I always said I want to keep him.”

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