There’s been a lot of debate over whether Theo Walcott is capable of being the striker he wants to be but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain reckons he’s up to the task.

Speaking ahead of England’s clash with San Marino, the midfielder vehemently defended his teammate, insisting that the winger is more than ready to play up front.

“I think Theo has been ready for a number of years to play there,” the Ox said. “He’s someone I look up to and admire as a person and a player.”

“His form for club and country in his long career proves why he’s is ready, his goalscoring record proves why he is ready to play up front.

“He is a great player and poses different threats than other strikers with his ability to run in behind.”

Alex finally added, “I have no doubt Theo can play up front – or in midfield as well.”

Walcott desperately wants to be a striker and has made this clear more than once. However, whenever he’s been handed the role he’s been pretty hit or miss – literally.

On the wing, where Wenger tends to play the 26-year-old, Walcott can use his pace to get in behind defences and cross the ball. His speed on the break is unreal and one of the main aspects of his game that other players cite as the reason he’s so hard to play against time and time again.

Perhaps the potential is there for Theo but until he puts on his finishing boots, he’s almost always going to be played on the wing. All he can do is keep on training.