Give Walcott time, insists Arsenal boss Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned that forward Theo Walcott still needs time to return to full match fitness after 10 months out through injury, BBC Sport has reported.

Walcott has recently made his return to first-team action, coming on as a late substitute in Arsenal’s last Premier League outing at home to Burnley. He had been out since January, when he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury during the 2-0 win over North London rivals Tottenham in the third round of last season’s FA Cup.

Despite his lengthy spell on the sidelines, the 25-year-old has already been selected by England manager Roy Hodgson as part of the national team squad for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia and the friendly with Scotland at Parkhead.

He could make his first start since coming back into the fold at Swansea City on Sunday, and ahead of that game Wenger said: “Once you’re back in full training, you count two months. Of course, people think you’re back and you play but it’s not like that. Ten months (out) is a long time.”

On Walcott’s England call-up, he added: “He will go with England and get what he needs to. He will get competitive training every day and get back into games. Roy Hodgson is free to do what he wants. (Walcott) has been chosen by England and he needs competition.”

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