Friday, March 1, 2024

Wenger on Walcott’s contract and performance

After scoring Arsenal’s first goal in the 3-1 over Everton in the Barclay’s Salt ‘n’ Pepper Squid Trophy today, Arsene Wenger was asked about the future of Theo Walcott.

Despite an offer being on the table for some time, the England man has yet to commit to the club, and with less than 12 months left on his current deal time is running out.

Today the manager was asked if he had plans to discuss a new contract, and said, “Yes, because he is close to the end of his contract next season.

“He is sharp and prepared well. He is like every player – they look fit, close to full fitness. It’s quite amazing how the players are back to a good body shape and a good level of fitness because they prepare well.

“Now football has changed – they come back after holidays and they don’t start from zero. They have done their homework and he is one of them.”

The fact that he’s in good shape is obviously a positive, but it looks once more as if we’re heading into a contract saga with Walcott.

Last time, of course, he strung it out until the January which led him to become the club’s top earner. Let’s hope things are a bit more simple this time around.

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Squillaci's Agent

Don’t get me wrong I love theo, and want him to stay. But this whole contract situation is growing tiresome and unfortunately, seemingly more repetitive. I hope it’s resolved as soon as possible it’s just the last thing I want to see if him have a terrific season with us and then move as a free agent to a rival club. Sign the ting!


I don’t like the fact arseblog sound like they’re making it about money when Theo himself has made it clear it’s more about being played as a striker; something that has been promised to him for almost a decade now and has equally been used in the past as a carrot on a stick to make him sign, only to then be used exclusively on the wings (till it’s contract time again). I honestly believe given the choice between £90k a week (reduced pay) but guaranteed use as CF, or £120k but more of the same as the last time… Read more »


Yes because Arsene really hadn’t heard about Santi till after he signed him, Hleb just really really liked ice cream and Brendan Rodgers genuinely thinks players sign for clubs based on a comparative analysis of nightlife. Almost as if all transfer/contract sagas are basically just employment for spin doctors. Contrast the cheek of demanding to play a position with, say, Cazorla, who displayed his ambition by playing an unfamiliar position week in week out, in the knowledge that he’d be summarily dropped for putting so much as a toe wrong and came out of it player of the season. Give… Read more »

Henry's Ghost

What does the H stand for?


What have you been smoking?

Theo has spent a LONG time out on the wing and he has performed out on the wing… too well some could say because now everyone thinks of him as a winger, I think thats doing the job when asked and doing it well!

He wants to play central, he has scored regularly so why not give him the chance? Well he has had a chance, the hat trick against WBAand the starting goal in the FA Cup final.

Time for fans to support the players!


I don’t think you can argue that fans should support Theo, as the majority has supported him. Unfortunately contract sagas only seem to occur with Theo at the mo and to only pick out his two, maybe three, outstanding performances does not quite cut it for a player of his wages and his status. He is a surplus once he demands too much. He should be playing wherever in order to help the team instead of his career. He is not good enough imo to be making demands. Sign’im for a good wage or let his ego go. I like… Read more »


Sorry, I believe you are wrong. Theo is a shrewd young man and understands the need to project the right image. I recall Alan Davies saying that when he saw AW after the Norwich game (I think it was this match) during the last contract discussions and he asked him why there was a delay, AW smiled and started singing the Abba song, “Money, money. money…” I don’t blame Theo, – who wouldn’t try and get the most out of their employer? – but we don’t need to be held to ransom this time. As much as I would like… Read more »


“Money, money, money…”

This, from someone who is getting paid 8 million pounds plus a year?


And where else is he going to be playing as a striker, if he moves, exactly? He doesn’t have the physique to play as a lone frontman, which most top clubs still favour. He also has a lot of licence to roam, at Arsenal, coming in off the wing, even when that’s his nominal starting position. He may not be afforded that to the same degree elsewhere. And others may not overlook his reluctance to track back and get stuck in if he’s playing out wide either. And for someone whose main asset is his pace, and who struggles to… Read more »

Dan Hunter

You are right. The question he must ask himself is is he worth more to the team than he was last time round when we acceded to his demands for 100k pw? He has improved as a player certainly, but he is not worth as much as our very top players… That’s unless he scores 30 goals for us this season


I believe this to be the case as well. I wonder why it’s getting you do many dislikes. That said, can’t he negotiate for a clause in his contract that guarantees he’s played in his preferred role? My fear for him is that he will sign and will be put back on the wing

Andy Mack

Theo has been injured for most of the last 2 years but on the rare occasions he’s played CF he does look good. He may have wanted the CF role previously but he didn’t have the experience to play the position consistently at the top level, but he probably does now. However as his game is 100% about speed and timing of runs, he can’t play as CF unless he’s match fit and a PL team can’t afford play a CF that isn’t on his game. HFB lacks speed but does other parts of the CF role well even when… Read more »


I’ll take one fantastic season. At least then it won’t have been a gigantic waste of time and money.


I would prefer for him to stay , but Could honestly still take him or leave him . he’d mlbe missed but all of this brinkmanship bullshit can fuck right off


Exactly. Theo is a premier league elite footballer that we would be daft to turn our nose up to at the peak of his career. This doesn’t alter the very limited nature of his gAme, which has not gone well for the likes of podolski. So, I guess, sign him up. But don’t break the bank.

Bob's Mexican Cousin

Well said


*Sigh* Not again.


*Sigh*n da ting


Well played


Can’t make my mind up about Theo. Definitely has talent and possibly it’s the way of football nowadays – no doubt due to agents – but his seeming reluctance to put a signature on a contract just doesn’t feel right. Maybe I’m old school but it used to be great to see players desperate to sign for the club – for a lot less than what’s on offer to Theo!


I know jack shit so this is just guess work and I’m well aware Feo isn’t everyones favourite cup of “T” , but I think he loves the club and wants to stay. I want him to stay he is the longest serving member now and is reaching his peak and I really hope we haven’t suffered through all that frustration for an anti-climax. So like the last time Feo was yelling “Show me the money” he will have to prove that he is worth it ..

Man Manny

Walcott needs to see that the team is coming in leaps and bounds. He should want to be part of that. But what do I know about these guys? Do they think like us?

Getso gunner

If Henry think He can solve our striking problem, I think is worth giving it a try, so please Mr. Wenger don’t allow him to go unless you are planning to bring a world class striker


If he dosnt want to be part of such a great bunch of player take the money and let him go. Play with Ozil, alexis , carzola and the rest or leave. Really should be no decision. Money should not matter.

Nasri's missing chinbone

Still think we need him. Gives us something different and his end product has certainly developed. Progress stalled by his injury season before last but more to come from this man I think. I agree with the brinkmanship remark above though. Too many young players failing to appreciate what their clubs have done for them these days. All said the most galling thing for us would be if we didn’t give him the terms he wanted and he buggers off to a direct rival on a free, giving them a decent player who also qualifies as homegrown. We can’t let… Read more »


I agree. Theo may not be the perfect player for every match, but in certain matches he (or someone like him) is exactly what we need in order to get behind the defence. He’s also homegrown, and one of our most capped players in an Arsenal shirt. In fact, I think he might actually have the most caps at the moment. Is that right? Does anyone know?

Django unhinged

Czech surely.

Anonymous Physicist

Cech is the right answer, but Rosicky, Mertesacker, Alexis, Cazorla, Ozil and Ospina also have more caps than Walcott.

Or are you talking about games for Arsenal rather than international caps? In that case, I think you may be right Walcott is number 1.


Caps in an Arsenal shirt, yes.

Anonymous Physicist

No one has any caps in an arsenal shirt. A cap is an international appearance. They used to hand out funny hats to the international team, hence the name.


Don’t think we “need” him, as Wilshere is in discussion, too, about where he’s gonna play next season. Additionally, paying Theo his wages and then still playing him in his not preffered role on the wing would not make him such a happy bunny, as he’d sit on the bench most of da time. This is the crux imo, as you want your squad to be fairly “‘appy”. One might say look at Rozza, but he is in a diiferent point of his carreer, whereby not giving Theo game time as a striker (like after Giroud, Welbz and the beast)… Read more »

Arse Sutra

Theo’s contract situation with arsenal is so similar to his goal at the bridge against the chavs…. one moment he is on the ground and the next moment he flies by leaving terry to scratch cole’s crotch….

For Gods Sake

Just sell him, he only wants money. We don’t need him.


I tend to agree. If it wasn’t about money he would have signed months ago. The squad today looks as exciting as ever. Maybe he fears for his place !


There’s no greater joy in life than watching Arsenal.
The pace in the wide areas in the second half was unreal, Bellerin and Chambo on the right, Gibbs and Theo on the left was just to much for Everton.
A couple of top signings and I think we’ll be as good as anything else Europe has to offer.


Infuriating player when it comes to a new contract. Very promising squad that look ready to challenge for all the major honours then why leave?

Usual answer. Money! With the chavs and sheikhs obsessing over home grown players we will probably bow down or end up selling him on the cheap.


It’s interesting this. I can’t think of that many transfer rumours (pretty much ever) surrounding Theo – possibly a tabloid proposing a swap deal for Sterling a few months ago but that’s about it. Most sources are saying he’s on 100k a week. So he’s the joint third best paid player with Giroud and behind Alexis (175k) and Ozil (185k). So there seems to be quite a large gap between the two ‘superstars’ and the next level of player. Obviously Theo signed his last contract a few years ago so his agent (and himself probably) are saying he’s now worth… Read more »


Why did he sign such a short contract last time around? 2 1/2 years was it?
Surely we should have signed him up for 4 or 5 years if this happens every time?

arsenal fan

Got to hand it to his agent. Theo always seems to have the upper hand in the negotiations.

Walcott's left footed curl

Okay, I’m a big Walcott fan so I probably give him too much slack during these contract negotiations. But I really think him and his people are handling this in a quite nice way. He wants the absolute maxium amount of money he can possibly get. We’ve seen this with alot of players in alot of club. But right now, I think that a least three clubs at a decent level, City, United, and Liverpool, could really use him. Probably a few foreign ones as well, but they don’t have the same financial resources. Yet, there’s no playing up interest… Read more »

Cazorlas multifeet

ill agree with you


“Nice way”? Oh please. There is no honour amongst these thieves. Last time they took advantage of the bitterness remaining from RVP’s departure. This time theyre demanding a wage rise despite Theo being injured for half of the 2 and a half years he eventually signed on for. They’re (theo and his agent that is) using the club’s fans to negotiate a better deal, the same fans who sing hos name the loudest, who have him installed as a fan favourite . Theo used to be one of my favourites, before his attitude during his last contract saga. Now I’m… Read more »


I won’t go so far as to praise them for how they are handling it, but I see nothing but sour grapes and naïveté in anyone who is crticisizing them. There is precisely nothing wrong with the present situation. Like you said, there are a lot of reasonably strong English clubs in the market for a striker this summer. Theo has a good situation at Arsenal, but I’m sure there are things that he wishes could be improved (playing time as a striker, perhaps wages). So, like any player nearing the end of his contract, he’s gathering info on whether… Read more »


A really great post. The relentless habit in these comments sections is to spout an opinion from whichever side of fandom you have positioned yourself – pro or anti Wenger/club policy. Life’s decidedly more nuanced. Step into Walcotts shoes and there are numerous reasons for him to take his time and a considered approach to this contract. The idea this negotiation is simply about money is simplistic. If Walcott was mercenary he could simply idle his time ( an inevitable fact as Arsenal are overrun with attacking midfielders) take his current pay, leave on a free, sign for another club… Read more »


A very good player, but not great. I like that he’s been here for so long, but joining as a 16 year old, we do have to be realistic and expect him to maybe seek out a new challenge at another club.

Laycock Gooner

Agents are the problem. They need their 10% whatever and constantly massage the egos of players.

Theo has to decide but why does it always get to the last 12 months…..


Who does Walcott think he is. He wants to play up front but he’s not good enough to play up front. In the FA Cup final he ran offside about 5 times. He messed us about last time only signing a three year deal, this time we should call his bluff and flog him to the highest bidder. Ox is better and Arsenal need a new striker anyway.


Im not worried at all. Theo will renew. Scores a goal last night, goes straight to the badge on the top left corner of his jersey. I could see theo having a 30 goal season for us if he keeps fit, playing on the flanks or down the middle.

die hard gooner

The contract situation with theo is always tiresome. But i think he staying. in relation to where he plays it should be as a winger if a striker comes in. but if there isn’t’ he should play up top with the ox and alexis on the wings. pace, pace and more pace unsettles defenders. we should alternate between him and Giroud depending up on the opponent. i have seen nothing that suggests he couldn’t play as a striker. he has pace, good movement and now a great finishing ability on him.

like a red head Ljungberg

adams once said he’d sign whatever arsenal give him without reading it, ian write, jack wishere… these are arsenal people, gunners who’d work their ass off despite being superstars, theyd take a bullet each given chance for the team, theyd cry for arsenal, henry ljungberg pires, theyd always want 100 from everybody around them cause they care, lehmann sanchez campbell, if wenger thinks this team only need top class players which i totally agree, he should also have figured out it takes top mentality and commitment too, if someone doesn’t want what we fans want he isnt worth keeping, we… Read more »

uncultured left leg

you sir remind me of Hitler!!


Theo only signed a 2 year contract last time….this situation is the clubs fault for not negotiating four to five years.

Django unhinged

The club was in no position to negotiate, given he could have walked out for free less than six months later.


Errrr….negotiate earlier??


All these numpties calling for us to sign another striker, the way Walcott is going, he will easily fill the coffers with another 15-20 goals next season…if he stays. It would seem he is leaning toward that direction with his presence in Asia. I’m not sure what the ruckus concerning him starting in the middle is either. He profits either way whether starting as CF or out wide. the system is design to have both flank players join as a 4-3–3 almost when we are tight in the other half It is also design for flexibility with Ox, Walcott Alexis… Read more »

Eric Blair

Perhaps it’s not all one way, perhaps we’re waiting to see if we can improve our attacking options and not offering him a high enough deal that he’ll accept immediately. Perhaps the new ruthless Wenger is waiting to see if he can pick up a Benzema or Reus before the end of the transfer window in which case he’ll ship out Walcott to Man City or Liverpool. Would a forward 3 of Sanchez/Benzema/Ox be better than Sanchez/Giroud/Walcott? Perhaps. But I trust Wenger totally to make the right decision in the right interests of the club.

Mesut Ohno

So if it’s about starting as a central striker, which of the “big clubs” would offer him that role?

Chelsea – No chance in hell with Costa & Falcao
Man City – Aguero, Dzeko, Bony, Jovetic
Liverpool – Sturridge, Firmino, Origi, Ings & prob Benteke
Man Utd – Only Rooney so possible

Django unhinged

This is Theo’s last big contract. He is in his prime now and by next contract renewal his pace will have peaked and will be starting to decline. I just hope this is done before the end of the transfer window and that he signs for 4-5 years. Everyone knows he isn’t the Giroud-type big target man who can hold the ball up and play on his own up top. But nor is Aguero. There is a place for smaller, more slightly built, fast, central striker who puts the fear of God up the opposition on counter attacks. Massive TV… Read more »


Thing with Theo that confuses me is his self worth. He honestly always believes he should be one of the most highly paid, irrespective of his contribution or the talent grade around him. Off my head, Santi Ramsey kos cech are all significantly better players (and guaranteed starters when fit) but are content with their wage packet..but he sees himself above them and closer to ozil and sanchez..even considering forward players are always better paid, there’s no reason in my mind he should get more than santi or ramsey. Both are better than him and contribute more..ramsey kept him out… Read more »


Theo is a great option to have. He is exactly what Henry meant about having a different player up front. While he is a winger. The ox/gnabry/Ramsey suit what we need there for 90 mins alot better. I think that Theo will sign if we don’t sign the winger/striker that we keep talking about. Every summer we talk about reus/draxler/benzema etc. If we sign one of these… Theo will go. I would prefer to keep him just so we can give more gametime to akpom/ox/gnabry


Theo for me is a one trick pony has pace! if Liverpool or any one else come calling for X amount of millions let him go (City where are you) there are far better teams players available compare him to Sanchez and you think there is no comparison he may of held us to ransom last time but now we have the ace cards marmite syndrome not bothered either way if he dont commit by the start of the season put him up for sale and leave him out of the squad maureen would take that stance not sure AW… Read more »


In my opinion, if he hasn’t signed in the next couple of weeks we should be selling him. He’s a good player, but let’s not forget all the games that would just pass him by. I just feel a lot of fans have remembered his very last two games and forgotten all the pretty awful performances before then. Yes, I know he wasn’t playing regularly and didn’t have any real match fitness, but I just believe he is a very replaceable player when push comes to shove. We look like we are primed for a great season, so I’d hate… Read more »


I think people on here know Theo can have a blinder, but all too often is mediocre – think we fear that loosing him will result in him becoming a 30 goal a season man, but in reality he is too inconsistent, injury prone and never come close to it before despite being at Arsenal (one of the epl top scoring teams, so if he can’t cut it here, why would he elsewhere?)

Dave Vincent

What people seem to be missing here is that Theo rarely STARTS a game let alone play as CF. he’s way too good to be constantly on the bench. I think he would happier to just get more starts tbh.
Would be sacrelidge if we lost him to another club only to see him shine elsewhere.


Does Theo deserve a raise? Why don’t we ask £100k per week goalkeeper Pet-a-Cheque.


If he don’t sign sell him.
It’s not like he’s henry

lone gooner

Walcott is dispensable. …….we should let him go and bring in a more consistent lad


Well he touched the badge after he scored yesterday, that says to me he is due to sign soon…


fans want another striker so if we buy one Theo will be back on the wing you can’t have both Welbeck OG Theo should rotate up front for me


His last contract signing should have been four years instead of the two years he had. The question is, did Wenger not trust him by not giving him a longer contact?

lone gooner

gone are the days Walcott used to be a crucial player for us…..i won’t loose a seconds sleep if we sold him

Martin Dolla Shivute

He is an excellent player and I want him to stay. Please let him sign. …

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