by Lewis Ambrose

Arsène Wenger confirmed that there are plans to discuss a new contract with Theo Walcott after the forward netted the opener in the Barclays Asia Trophy Final.

Walcott’s movement and pace saw him found by Santi Cazorla, and the Englishman tucked the ball under Joel Robles to give Arsenal the lead in Singapore. The game went on to finish 3-1, and Wenger confirmed to the press that he is keen to talk to Walcott soon.

Asked if he has any plans to sit down with Walcott over a new deal the Arsenal manager said“Yes, because he is close to the end of his contract next season.”

The forward is entering the last year of his contract, meaning he could leave for nothing next summer, and impressed the Arsenal manager during the trip to Asia. A disjointed campaign saw Walcott start just seven games in all competitions.

He scored seven goals in those games, including a hat-trick against West Brom on the final day of the Premier League season and the opening goal in the FA Cup Final a week later. Fully fit for this pre-season, it will be crucial for Walcott not to be too far behind the rest of the squad as he was for much of the previous campaign.

“He is sharp and prepared well,” Wenger explained.

“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.”

Walcott will be looking to make up for a year and a half with very little football as he tries to force himself back into the Arsenal team. He has plenty of competition but is still arguably the best finisher in the Arsenal squad, so has every chance of getting regular football. Wenger seems eager to keep him at the club, so a contract extension is sure to be on the table.

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Usually found watching or talking about English or German football. Interested in tactics (but often despairing a lack of them). Favourite players: Bergkamp, Arteta, Özil