Arsenal winger Theo Walcott was an unused substitute in Sunday’s 3-1 win against Everton, amassing just over 300 minutes of football in the last two months, which suggests his future is up at the Emirates Stadium.
Signed from Southampton for £10m in January 2006, the 28-year-old has gone on to make 383 appearances in an Arsenal shirt, scoring 104 goals. But he remains a fringe player after 11 years and has hardly featured for the Gunners in the final few months of the season.
Coincidentally, his exile from the starting XI came after he revealed there had been in-fighting back in March, making just four Premier League starts from the 12 games that followed. Walcott racked up a paltry 11 minutes of playing time in May and may not feature in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.
Many may point to a change in tactics as reason for Walcott’s omission, with Wenger scrapping wingers for wing-backs in a 3-4-2-1 system, but given he was captaining the side in April it suggests that all isn’t well between player and manager. Walcott has been an unused substitute on four occasions, all within the last month.
He made 16 consecutive Premier League starts at the start of the season before a calf injury briefly halted his campaign, and he’s been unable to recapture such form and command a place in the starting eleven since.
While not at the level of Arsenal, Walcott does have suitors if he chose to depart the Emirates in the summer.
Walcott has two years left on his deal at Arsenal but it’s unlikely he will stay in London past the age of 30.
Where does his future lie?