10 years on … but was this Arsenal stars’ hype misplaced?

Happy Anniversary Arsene Wenger and Theo Walcott!

It’s ten years to the day since Arsenal signed Walcott as a youngster from Southampton, and just over ten years since he stealthy sneaked into the England World Cup squad for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Since then, Walcott has become a fixture in the Arsenal side, become a regular international for England, but he has seemingly flattered to deceive as well. A pacey and talented player, for sure, but one who was all speedy industry without much of an end product. His finishing has always been questioned, even when he played as a winger.

But given that Walcott wants to play as a striker, and not as a winger, that point about his finishing has been rehashed more than perhaps it would have been if he had stuck to the wings.

But these stats do seem to show a different story:

They show Walcott as a player who has a hand in a goal every two games, which is hardly a terrible return for a player who has played for most of his career on the right.

Clearly not known for being prolific, pitching in 81 goals from midfield isn’t a terrible return for a pacey player, playing out wide in a team who have traditionally been more of a passing side than a pace-orientated, counter attacking side.

He’s not a youngster any more, but at only 26, he still has a lot of time to prove his worth to Arsenal and to England. Most younger players struggle with consistency, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Walcott’s form shored up over the next few seasons. Maybe his second decade at Arsenal will be his best one!

 


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