Opinion: Is it time for Theo Walcott to put eleven years of
inconsistency behind him, and move on from Arsenal?

Opinion: Is it time for Theo Walcott to put eleven years of inconsistency behind him, and move on from Arsenal?

The England forward has been at the club since 2006, though right now he has never been more down the pecking order at the Emirates.

Matthew Sheppard

After Theo Walcott slotted home his fourth goal of the season in Thursday night’s 6-0 hammering of BATE Borisov, the question remains, is it time for Theo to say goodbye to the Gunners?

When arriving through the doors in North London from Southampton back in January 2006, as a fresh-faced teenager, there was so much excitement surrounding him. Though the potential has always been there, it has never quite been delivered on a regular basis.

Now entering his twelfth full season at the club, it now appears more evident than ever that Walcott really needs a fresh challenge in his career, as it has all become too stagnated at the Emirates once again.

Too far down the pecking order?

During the summer, it was thought that Arsenal and Arsene Wenger would have a mass exodus at the club. Though, names such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gabriel and Kieran Gibbs all moved on, it was thought that more would follow, with Walcott being one of them.

The arrival of Alexandre Lacazette didn’t help matters either for Walcott, as the forward was already playing second fiddle to the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Danny Welbeck and Olivier Giroud.

Right now, it is safe to say that Walcott is probably Arsenal’s third, even fourth choice striker, as the likes of the Carabao Cup and UEFA Europa League are his best chances of getting minutes at the moment.

Walcott has racked up a total of 46 minutes of Premier League action so far, though he can hold on to the hope that with all the festive fixtures round the corner, squad rotation will come in to play.

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Was 16/17 his last hope?

When it comes to Walcott, it is all about consistency, and whether he can either stay fit or perform to a high standard which he can reach, every weekend.

At the start of the 2016/2017 season, it was almost like we saw a hungrier Walcott, as he was an integral part of the Arsenal side which started the campaign so strongly.

By Christmas, Theo was on 8 Premier League goals already, one of his best return in an Arsenal shirt. Though, as the Gunners season collapsed, so did Walcott’s. Only two more goals followed in the league for the rest of the stretch.

It goes back to the point that consistency is a real issue for Walcott, and sometimes yes, that seems to be the case for most of the Arsenal players, but the England man’s career has never really kick-started, and he’s been here almost twelve years now. A new challenge has to surely be calling?

Possible suitors?

If Walcott is to eventually call time on his time in North London, then firstly his loyalty and service to the club has to be highlighted, and secondly there will be plenty of takers.

Everton are a side who have always been linked with Walcott in recent years, and given their current situation, they could really do with a fresh face in their attack. The possibility of working with Sam Allardyce, could also be the making of Walcott? Someone who can guide him, and be brutally honest with him.

Plenty of takers abroad would surely be there for Walcott, if he fancied a complete fresh start. And really, that is what he needs, as his Arsenal career is surely up.