Arsene Wenger has revealed that he is still unsure whether Theo Walcott is ready to return to the starting line up after his lengthy injury spell, hinting that he may not yet be mentally fit, Express reports.
Arsenal travelled to Southampton without Danny Welbeck who suffered a groin knock, Yaya Sanogo who has a hamstring problem, as well as Olivier Giroud who was suspended for the match.
Despite Walcott appearing from the bench in their 2-0 loss to the Saints, Wenger admitted he will slowly ease the England man back into his squad despite his plea for a swift return.
“Theo has been out for one year and he has to go for contact and today the game does not forgive you any lack of contact or defensive focus. We have to get that.
“We will see that when he plays, it is difficult to predict, he is certainly a bit edgy as he has been out for so long.
“Yes of course, you must have that first tackle in your mind and have to go through that. Fitness wise he is there but he has not had a lot of practice in training.
“He has been impatient, he has been injured and of course you are always impatient. He is 25 going to 26 and this is an important part in his life for a player.”