Theo Walcott is still desperate to prove himself as an out-and-out striker despite spending another season predominantly operating on the right side of Arsenal’s attack.
The speedy wide man has had his most prolific season to date with the Gunners, scoring 13 goals in 25 starts, despite injuries taking their usual toll on his seemingly fragile frame.
Eager to fulfil the role which Arsene Wenger earmarked for him when he moved to North London from Southampton, the England international told The Sun:
“I want to play up front a bit more. I was signed as a striker and I haven’t forgotten how to play there,” he insisted.
“It’s difficult to get involved when you’re out on the wing, especially if you make a slow start and don’t get an early touch.
“But hopefully the boss has seen a bit more of my game coming out with goals and assists.
“With me being quick I can attract opponents and create more space for others.
“I’m not saying I’m going to win everything for Arsenal playing as a striker but I think I’ve developed and want to play up front.”
While Robin van Persie will no doubt start next term as the first choice candidate to play up front, the potential Emirates exit of Nicklas Bendtner, the alarming downturn in form of Marouane Chamakh and the lackadaisical prowess of Carlos Vela, could see Walcott given more opportunities to strut his stuff in and around the penalty box.
Nevertheless, even if Arsene Wenger does push the 22-year-old into a more central role it is unlikely to dampen the calls of the Arsenal faithful who are eager to see more firepower added to the squad. Linked with several big names Walcott himself revealed that the excitement of a summer speculation had filtered down to the squad:
“The manager has said he is going to spend this summer and I’m intrigued to see who we’re going to get.
“We’ve got a small squad and it would be nice to see a few additions. I’ve heard rumours of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and signing a player of that calibre would get the crowd on their feet and help us hold on to our best players.
“Of course I can understand why some of our players might be getting frustrated and thinking about leaving. They want to win things and we haven’t done that for six years.”