Arsene Wenger has told Theo Walcott that if he wants to prove himself as a centre-forward, he should learn from the experience of former Arsenal captain Thierry Henry, the
Walcott’s desire to play as a central striker is said to have been one of the sticking points that has delayed the England international agreeing a new contract with the club. Walcott’s current deal expires at the end of the season and thus far, there has been little progress towards signing fresh terms.
Wenger however praised Walcott’s recent performances as a striker, having moved the ex-Southampton player inside from his usual station on the wing, with Walcott expected to continue in the position when the Gunners play Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
The manager pointed to the example of Henry, who started his career on the wing but eventually moved to playing as a striker under Wenger at the age of 23, the same age Walcott is now.
Wenger said: “If you look at my statements I always said that one day he would play through the middle and it grew in his brain. I decided to play Thierry Henry at 23 through the middle because you have to learn a lot before. The fact that you play in other positions as well helps your technique.
“It’s a bit early to compare him to Thierry Herny. But he gives him advice. It’s always important. Theo is a very intelligent boy. He understands very quickly when you tell him something and that’s why I think he can do very well in this position,” Wenger added.
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