Walcott’s World Cup absence a nightmare, says Arsenal legend Wright

Former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright has described Theo Walcott’s injury-enforced absence from the World Cup as a “nightmare,” BBC Sport has reported.

It was confirmed on Monday evening that Walcott had ruptured ligaments in his knee in the FA Cup win over Tottenham Hotspur and was facing at least six months out of action, ruling the forward out of June’s World Cup. Walcott has never played at a World Cup, having been left out of the 2010 squad by Fabio Capello. He was called into the 2006 party by Sven Goran-Eriksson but was not selected to play.

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He’ll be devastated to miss a special World Cup,” Wright said. “It’s one of those you don’t truly get over. He’s an intelligent lad. I’m sure he’ll bounce back, but he’ll be absolutely devastated.

Wright continued: “[Arsenal] played him in the centre against Spurs and he terrorised them so it’s a massive blow for England and, with it being in Brazil – a fantastic place, a fantastic venue for the World Cup – it’s a nightmare one to miss.

It’s a big blow to the England squad because the boys are comfortable with Theo being around and they know the pace he gives.

Walcott has 36 England caps to his name since his debut in May 2006, when aged only 17. He has scored five goals for his country but the only senior international tournament at which he has featured in Euro 2012, where he scored in the group stage against Sweden.

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