Despite seeing out a large portion of the 2015/16 Premier League campaign in rather assured circumstances at the Emirates this term, Arsene Wenger and his increasingly predictable Gunners outfit look set to end the current season firmly placed within those all-important top-four spots, but still seemingly miles off claiming the league title outright.
Several high profile assets in the current Arsenal contingency could therefore be forced to pack their bags this summer due to the distinct lack of progress made in 2015/16, and seeing as the former England international and Southampton youngster can’t even make the Gunners’ starting XI right in the here and now, Theo Walcott could be one the those players to bid farewell to the Emirates in the not too distant future.
So then, although the 27-year-old striker is still one of Arsenal’s highest earners, has Walcott really come to the end of the road with his current employers, or must Wenger persuade the out-of-sorts front-man to stay on at the Emirates for at least another season?
Well, although the former Three Lions favourite has certainly suffered with his fair share of injury related issues whilst operating in north London, the 2015/16 campaign has proven one to forget for the current Gunners no. 14 when all is said and done.
For one reason or another, Walcott hasn’t delivered on the apparent potential he once had to offer. While the lightening-quick forward still admittedly resembles something close to a dangerous option when playing to the very best of his abilities, the former Saints graduate has failed to truly progress while representing Wenger’s side.
The long-term Gunners boss has toyed around with Walcott’s so-called ‘preferred’ playing position for so long now it remains somewhat difficult to place the 27-year-old in his ideal slot out on the pitch. Is his pace best utilised out wide on the flanks? Should Walcott be played solely as a centre-forward with no defensive responsibility whatsoever? Or could the widely admired striker simply be in need of a recognised strike-partner?
It remains somewhat hard to settle upon a definitive answer. Even though Walcott was once considered one of the most significant shining lights on the international scene for England just a handful of short seasons ago, his overall failure to develop as an Arsenal player has now seen the likes of Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge, Jamie Vardy and Danny Welbeck quickly rise above him in the Three Lions’ pecking order.
Walcott should therefore consider the option of moving on this summer, for despite admittedly failing to set the Premier League alight in recent years, a fair amount of attacking potential does still theoretically reside somewhere within the former Southampton front-man.
If the versatile forward were to try his hand in a new environment for the upcoming 2016/17 campaign, under a different manager with fresh ideas looking ahead to the future, it remains more than plausible for Walcott to rediscover his once formidable mojo.
The writing does seem to reside right there on the wall for Walcott at this particular stage in his career, even if Wenger would still want to keep the out-of-form striker on the Arsenal books for at least another season.
As Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool will reportedly come a-callin’ for the quick-footed striker’s services sooner rather than later, perhaps it’s time the Emirates faithful finally readied their goodbyes for this talented, yet often equally frustrating, striker.