It’s hard to believe but Theo Walcott has now been an Arsenal player for 10 years.

Since joining from Southampton in 2006, the pacey forward has enjoyed his fair share of highs and crippling lows. However, even when his form has been soaring sky-high and many of us expected him to jump ship to Liverpool, who were, according the reports, willing to offer us Raheem Sterling as part of the deal, Walcott ‘signed da ting’ and stayed.

Per Mertesacker recently spoke about his admiration for the 26-year-old and Theo’s love of Arsenal inspires him.

“Ten years, it’s an unbelievable achievement to play on a consistent level for such a long time in the same club,” the big German said.

“That is rare in modern football and we are happy to have him.

“I think what kept him here was the spirit of the group and his love for the club, and that is something I look up to.”

Theo is a player I’ve not always been sold on. Not that I doubt his ability, far from it, but I’ve always felt as if he was just waiting for the next big offer to come along. I never believed he would sign another contract with us but now I’m happy to eat my words, as I realise he truly is with us for the long haul.

The forward has made 326 appearances for our club since joining. In that time, he’s scored 81 goals and made 69 assists. Considering how young he was when he moved to north London and how much of his time has been spent sidelined, I’d say this is a terrific return.

Long may it continue.