Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has expressed his desire to keep Theo Walcott at the Emirates.
The England international has one year left on his contract and has not agreed a new deal to continue at the north London club. He has seen his appearances being limited as injuries had kept him out of action for most part of this season.
Even after returning from injury, Walcott failed to break into the first team as he spent more time on the bench. However, he started during Arsenal’s 4-1 victory Stoke City in the final league fixture as the forward went on to score a first half hat-trick.
“Without a hat-trick, with a hat-trick, we want him to stay. We are in negotiations. We are starting to speak with his agent, and that is before he had made his hat-trick,” Wenger explained.
“Theo is a good scorer, but he has been out for a year. A year in a football is a long, long time, and it takes time to be back at your best, (to regain) your sharpness and confidence.”
Wenger remains hopeful that Walcott could remain injury free in order to showcase his talent. The Frenchman admitted that the player doubted on himself after returning from a lengthy layoff.
“I have always said that he can play in the middle because he has good movement and good finishing. He did that well today,” Arsenal manager said.
“I hope he stays free of injuries now, he has had a few doubts on the injury front, and that is never good. You have to be consistently present to express your full potential.”
Walcott has been linked with a move to Liverpool as he is expected to be included as a part of the swap deal which will then allow Arsenal to sign Raheem Sterling, according to TMW. The winger’s agent has already admitted that he will leave Anfield.
The Gunners still have a chance to land Sterling and then keep Walcott. Time alone will tell if Wenger will make an approach for the winger.