When he chose the number 14 shirt upon joining the Gunners, Theo Walcott had the weight of a pacey Frenchman on his shoulders.
Although Walcott claims he had no idea Thierry Henry had worn the number 14 shirt when he played for Arsenal (really?), he also understands why people have drawn similarities between him and the French forward.
“You could look at the pace side of it and the way we both finish. He had an unbelievable scoring record and to get anywhere near that would be a great achievement for myself. There are a lot of similarities in the way we attack defenders and the way we finish. I want to be my own player – I like to take bits from other players’ games,” he told Chinese journalists recently.
However, despite acknowledging his and the Arsenal legend’s similarities, the 26-year-old was quick to point out another Arsenal legend who he looks up to.
“I used to look up to him when I was younger and try to study him very well. Having been moved out to the wing, I’ve had to adapt my game and Freddie Ljungberg is a great example to me now, in terms of making runs off the ball. Thierry just made football look very easy at times.”
Freddie Ljungberg was still at the club when Walcott joined from Southamption in 2006, it therefore stands to reason that he’s a player the young forward would want to emulate.
The Swede scored 72 goals for the Gunners in 216 appearances, since joining the club in 1998. He left the club to join West Ham United in 2007 at the age of 30 but to this day still follows the Arsenal. He recently spoke about his admiration for Aaron Ramsey, saying he has the potential to become one of the best players in the Premier League.