Theo Walcott has yet to sign a new contract but Arsene Wenger has insisted that the England international has a bright future at Arsenal.
The 25-year-old has just over a year left on his current contract and has been linked with a summer move to Liverpool.
Walcott reportedly has put contract talks on hold until the end of the season, but Wenger has played down suggestions that the former Southampton winger would be leaving the club.
“I believe he will have a great future and I want him to stay here,” he told reporters ahead of the FA Cup semifinal with Reading.
“Walcott is getting better every week and will have a great goal scoring record in the future.”
Walcott has been at Arsenal since 2006 but has periodically struggled with form and fitness. He showed great promise as a youngster when he joined from Southampton, but inconsistent form has prevented him from becoming a top class player everyone thought he would become for his club and country. It has been a similar story this season as well, as he managed only three league starts and found the net twice.
Arsenal face Reading in the FA Cup semifinal where Wenger has almost a fully fit squad available to him. The Frenchman admits that he faces a tough task in selecting his starting XI as the Gunners look to defend their trophy.
“We have a massive squad of 24 players at the moment and there are also players on loan. It’s important to get the right dimension,” Wenger added.
“We know each other better now and have a better balance in our team between attacking and defending. All the players have top, top quality, which makes it very difficult for me to pick my best team.”
Arsenal are on a good run of form at the moment, having won eight matches in a row. The Gunners also have an outside chance of winning the Premier League title (seven points behind Chelsea) but winning the FA Cup remain their first priority.