Arsene Wenger says Theo Walcott is fit enough to start for Arsenal although he refused to be drawn on whether the winger would be including in his first XI for Sunday’s trip to Swansea.
The 25-year-old has played only 13 minutes of first team football since January but that didn’t stop Roy Hodgson from naming him in the England squad to face Slovenia and Scotland in the upcoming Interlull.
Speaking to press at London Colney this morning, the boss revealed:
“Walcott is in the squad [against Swansea]. He can start if I decide to start him.
“He needs playing time. Roy Hodgson is free to do what he wants.”
Given our plethora of attacking options, one winger who likely won’t be on the bench is Joel Campbell. The Costa Rican international has made only one start this season since returning to the club from a succession of loans and is reported to be unhappy at his lack of playing time.
Asked about Campbell’s current state of mind, Wenger continued: “I have a lot of respect for him and I hope he is happy every day he is here.”
Whether he’s here much longer remains to be seen. Given the nature of this week’s reports you suspect his agent is busy getting word out that he may well be available in January.