Rumours have been flying around that Theo Walcott has been told he can leave Arsenal in January, with a few premier league clubs interested in taking him off the Gunners’ hands.

It’s not surprising, as Walcott has only started one game in the Premier League since Arsenal lost to Crystal Palace in April, and has only really featured in the League Cup and Europa League this season.

He’s managed to score three goals so far, but it feels like a long time since he was regularly starting and netting consistently last season. Even now, many Arsenal fans feel like he’s an unnecessary barrier preventing Reiss Nelson from playing in his preferred position.

reiss nelson china
Reiss Nelson for Arsenal.

Needless to say, Arsenal fans appear to be more than happy to sell him in January. Some seem too happy to see him leave, in my opinion, and come across a tad disrespectful.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s the best decision for all parties involved, as Theo could have a chance to play more consistently, while Arsenal could decrease the wage bill. But we’re still talking about someone who is our longest serving player in the team.

It will be 12 years at Arsenal if he hasn’t left by January 20, an amazing achievement that not many others have got close to.  Furthermore, he’s scored over 100 goals for the club. Yes, he took his time, but an impressive accomplishment nonetheless!

I would add that he’s one of the few big-game players in our squad. Just think of the important goals he’s scored.

His first ever goal for us was in the Carling Cup final. I remember him scoring against Barcelona, prompting Lionel Messi to call him one of the most dangerous players he’s ever played against.

That’s something I would put on my CV. He’s consistently scored against Chelsea, which is always appreciated, and even bagged the first goal in the 2015 FA Cup final. He may be inconsistent, but in a flash he could get Arsenal a goal that could change a game.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 04: The injured Theo Walcott of Arsenal makes a 2-0 gesture to the Tottenham fans as he is stretchered off the pitch during the Budweiser FA Cup third round match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on January 4, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

What I like about Theo the most though, is how he’s always come across as a kind and gracious person. Sure, in football terms that’s not exactly important, but throughout his career at Arsenal I haven’t heard him insult our team or the fans, despite a lot of abuse on Twitter.

I could never be angry with him for too long because I kept thinking about what a nice bloke he is, and he’s certainly represented the Arsenal badge well on that front. I think if and when he does go, he’ll be sorely missed in the dressing room.

So, well I hope Walcott leaves in January, I hope it’s a graceful exit that is well respected by the fans. He deserves to leave on a good note. It’ll be interesting to see how he plays in a team that’s not Arsenal too. Maybe he’ll suit the more counter-attacking sides.

His eventual departure will be sad, but I’ll always remember him sitting on a stretcher, using his fingers to depict the scoreline to the Spurs fans with a big smile on his face.