Walcott and the kids

Atletico Madrid and Celtic are now in the Europa League. Depending on what happens today we could also see Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, Lazio, Lyon, and even AC Milan! 538 has already made Atletico Madrid as favorites. So, the question is… how long does Wenger play the kids?

Another question: sell Walcott, yes or no? Rumors indicate that Big Sam wants him at Everton and it’s a rumor that makes a lot of sense. Walcott is at his best when given space to run and Allardycian teams always play counter attacking football. Everton are pretty well stocked to play Allardyce’s style but they are just missing that one part – a speedy forward.

That means Allardyce will take advantage of his slow old legs with Sigurdsson and Rooney lobbing long balls to Theo Walcott and we could see a revival of Walcott’s career as a forward under Sam Allardyce. If the trade happens in January, I expect Walcott to score 10 goals by the end of the season. If I’m Walcott, I’d even take a pay cut to go to Everton. He’s already a multi-millionaire and at Everton he would have a chance to even get in the England World Cup team.

How much should Arsenal get? He’s 28.7 years old and this is probably his final ever contract. That means he has no sell-on value. But he’s English and he’s going to be a real goal threat for Everton. £35m is probably not too high an asking price for a player who could get you 20 goals a season.

I see that Wenger has ruled out a transfer but again, if I’m Walcott I have to ask to be sold. I would want to play football! He’s got just 18 months left on his deal with Arsenal and when that’s over he will be a 30 year old former speedster who never really fulfilled his potential. This is really his last chance to show something different. Maybe he’s just happy collecting a paycheck and playing once every three months. Maybe. That’s kinda of sad though isn’t it?



  1. I don’t see Walcott leaving his comfort zone and leaving for Everton. I especially don’t see him taking a pay cut to do so. His injury record also means he’d be quite risky for a team fighting relegation.

    I also don’t see Arsenal being proactive enough to move him on. No doubt he’s one of our famous ‘dressing room leaders’ too.

  2. Confident we could beat AC Milan. Not so confident about beating Dortmund or Madrid…

    And yes to selling Walcott. Will we, though? Nopes. Ramsey and Walcott are Wenger’s untouchables. I like the former (though he needs a better partner), but not so much the latter…or, rather, it’s a bad fit. Always thought he would suit a scrappy, counter-attacking mid-table Premier League team perfectly. Send him to the Walrus!

  3. Makes sense for all involved. The only reason I could envision not selling if there is a decent offer is if Arsene wants to keep him as insurance in case he really does lose both Ozil and Sanchez next summer. Walcott is not many of the things that those two are, but he is a proven source of goals and could help offset that loss of offensive potential somewhat.

    I am glad this came up because I have been a bit puzzled over Theo. It wasn’t that long ago that he looked like a rejuvenated player on Arsenal’s right flank, finally owning his role as a wide player with conviction, doing his defensive duties and scoring goals. He’s very much down the pecking order this year though, to the point that he hardly emerges from the bench and whenever I see a player so much out of favor it makes me wonder if it’s because he’s no longer putting the effort in at practice. It’s hard to justify keeping a player in that situation but Arsenal’s impending summer of departures may just be enough of to deter Arsene, even if he is very unhappy with the player. The alternate explanation is that Arsenal finally have the player Walcott was supposed to become in Lacazette, as well as another player who is good at running the channels in Danny Welbeck. Walcott’s limited skillset has become less valuable with those two around.

    1. I think it’s the latter explanation. I’m sure Theo works hard in training. He’s just a very limited footballer, always has been. Also, hasn’t he had a few niggling injuries of late?

      How sad is the idea of “offsetting” the loss of Alexis and Ozil with Theo Bloody Walcott.

      Please, please, for the love of all that’s good and true in this life, let’s get rid, finally.

  4. Even if he weren’t on massive wages, even if we didn’t think we could get good money for him, even if one thinks his goal scoring could be helpful in a pinch sometime in the future (as opposed to his presence almost always being more harm than good, as I believe), it would still make sense to sell him, if for no other reason than to free up space in the squad, for more talented youngsters like Nelson, and/or new attacking recruits, e.g. a Fekir or a Lemar (if not in January, then in the summer). We saw last summer how difficult it is to shift unwanted squad players to other clubs, and even when we succeed, it’s terribly time consuming when we should be focusing on getting key new signings over the line.

    Theo’s done at Arsenal. It’s shocking he lasted this long. Let’s move on.

  5. Here’s the real question: is there anyone in Everton’s bloated squad that we might fancy at Arsenal, and that we could enquire about swapping with Theo?

    More broadly, what do people think we *should* do in the January transfer window??? (I’m not anticipating doing any incoming business, unless we sell Mustafi and bring in a direct replacement, which is a long shot.)

    1. Wenger always says it’s hard to find value in January and his recent transactions like Kallstrom, Gabriel and El-Neny bear that out. I don’t think the squad has glaring needs that absolutely have to be addressed right now, although certainly big investment is needed next summer. It’s unlikely that the new recruitment team has already had a chance to identify any great targets that would be available this January. I would be in favor of taking our time and seeing how the rest of the season unfolds, allowing Mislintat the time and space to do his job the way he sees best.

      1. Agreed, though it’s always fun/exciting bringing in some fresh faces (provided they’re not of the massively underwhelming, Kallstrom variety).

      2. Although I do not doubt that it is harder to recruit, he got Reyes, Diaby, Adebayor and Arshavin all in in January, so it’s not impossible.

    2. I’d take a chance on Schneiderlin. There’s no doubt that our CM needs reinforcement, maybe he could fill that gap. Although I’d take N’Zonzi over him if the rumours are true.

      1. Agree with both those statements (only for the right price). I think both are improvements on Elneny and (though I like him) Coquelin, and, though I wish he’d stay and Wenger would use him more, I think Jack is probably gone, if not in January then definitely in the summer.

        1. I don’t know what happened to Schneiderlin since his Man U move: is it that he lost a bit of confidence and now isn’t playing with the best teammates/managers, or is it that those 1-2 great seasons at Southampton were a bit of an aberration and now he’s found his true level? (I confess I haven’t watched him much in the last season or two, so maybe he’s been doing better than I realize.)

      2. We are not buying Schneiderlin. Wenger had plenty of chances to move for him but he has never shown any interest (and it seems his reasons were legit!).

        N’Zonzi has been good for Sevilla but he just denied any transfer talks with Arsenal. I don’t think there is anything there.

        I don’t think we will make any moves this winter and that would probably be the right move. We have enough “squad player” types. We need world class players to take us to the next level and players of that caliber rarely make moves in January. That said, an upgrade on Coquelin, Elneny or even Xhaka won’t be a bad move at all but it would still have to be better than a squad player.

        1. 1. I agree we’re not going for Schneiderlin now, but I think it’s incorrect that Wenger was never interested in him: with that much smoke there’s bound to be fire. As I recall, the (not entirely dubious) rumors I heard were that before he went to United we had been seriously considering moving for him for months but (a) as the summer rolled around Arsene decided he didn’t want to “kill” Coquelin’s development, and/or (b) Schneiderlin’s agents advised him against us because they didn’t like how we had treated Gervinho, another of their clients. Still, perhaps we didn’t pull out all the possible stops to try to get him before United did.

          2. I agree that we have enough squad player types (and youngsters), though I think maybe N’Zonzi could potentially be more than that (not saying he’s world class, obviously, but he could be a key starter for us, potentially), and would almost certainly be an upgrade on Elneny and Coquelin, and offer something a bit different than Xhaka. Poaching an experienced player from a club in midseason because he’s had a falling out with his manager is just the kind of opportunistic move that Wenger likes (e.g. with Monreal when Malaga were going belly up), so stranger things have happened. I’m not holding my breath, of course.

          1. Yeah true, I do remember reading something about us showing interest in Schneiderlin before he went to Southampton and then completely cooling off. His agent was butt hurt. It does make me wonder if our interest was genuine in the first place. I read something similar about Griezmann too recently.

            We got some really good deals for Nacho and Santi when their clubs were having financial issues. I think the financial health of most top tier clubs are in pretty good shape now so while we should keep some dry powder to buy opportunistically when possible, it can’t be our primary transfer strategy. Not disagreeing with you that N’Zonzi would improve us. Just feel like we need to aim higher.

        2. There are no gettable world class players for us. and rather than get to the next level we will have to act just to keep the level we are, considering who we’re losing. This is going to be one long summer.
          Yeah, I don’t think there’s any concrete interest in it from us, the N’Zonzi story is based on his personal situation and I fear the Schneiderlin train has long gone.

          1. I don’t think it’s impossible for us to get world class players. Difficult? Yes, for sure. If we qualify for CL, it becomes more probable. Without it, it would be near impossible to get world class talent in unless we pay the “non CL club premium”. A lot depends on how decisive and aggressive we are with our strategy. But since this is Arsenal we are talking about, we probably won’t be to replace Alexis and Ozil with the same talent level.

          2. Agree about the CL, but the other possibility is (a) young French-language players for whom Wenger is still something of a draw (or players from, say, Germany, who appreciate Arsene because he speaks German, etc), (b) who are not themselves at the biggest of clubs such that Arsenal would still be a step up for them (whether financially or in terms of prestige/exposure), and (c) who aren’t, for whatever reason, being pursued by top tier clubs.

            Lacazette is a good example of this: sure, we got lucky with the Athletico thing, but after that happened no one else was really in strongly for him, and even before it happened we *should* be able to compete with the Athleticos of the world if we’re proactive (that we had to rely on getting lucky with their ban suggests we weren’t proactive enough in his situation).

            Is Lacazette world class? Obviously depends on how we define the term, but arguably he’s not far off and still can get better, and he CLEARLY improves us immensely. Another example would be someone like his old teammate Fekir, who’s hugely talented but, due to injury problems, has flown under the radar a bit the last few seasons. But he’s the kind of player who would probably be very open to our advances, and if we get him quickly, we could have a superstar on our hands before the other big teams notice. We have to do more of this: get the next superstars, not necessarily when they’re 18 (the players that can contribute immediately at 18 are so obviously good that everyone already knows about them then, e.g. Neymar, Mbappe), but get the ones that are slightly late bloomers, at 22-25, right before they blow up (e.g. Griezmann back in the day).

      3. Man… Schneiderlin has dropped in value faster than just about any CM linked to Arsenal since Yann M’Vila. I’ve seen him play, he’s technically at the right level but he’s a lot like Xhaka in that he needs another guy playing defense next to him. Real shame.

  6. Theo should go back to Southampton, the club that nurtured him. They are a better fit — playing-wise, coaching-wise, geography-wise — than Everton. He’s been messed around by England managers (and to an extent by Arsene), who when he was the leading scorer for the club (no, he’s actually not a steaming pile of sh*t, as some fans regularly suggest), always found a way to sub him off for a sulking Giroud. Theo, an untouchable? Nah. Giroud is.

    He was out injured for the THE B TEAM against Koln, and we didn’t even miss him. Time to move on, son.

    He’s a genuinely nice lad, brought up with Caribbean good manners, and a better footballer than he’s often given credit for. Jump though the window, Theo.

  7. I would even endorse a £25 million sale of Theo given how much wages we would free up and I really don’t see him playing any more games for Arsenal beyond January. Well, if we are still in the FA cup and draw favorably in Europa, we might see a little bit more but he is a not much more than a wage guzzler at the moment.

    It will be interesting to see how Arsene manages the squad in the second half of the season. This is the question he will be asking himself:

  8. what up, folks? it’s been a while; such is life.

    will theo go to everton? unlikely. he’s too expensive (wages). besides, everton need a center forward who can replace lukaku and lead the line. we all know theo’s not that guy. everton are more likely to pitch a giroud move in january than a walcott move. where and when will theo go? don’t know and, frankly, don’t care but everton is unlikely.

    if he does go, i like the schniederlin idea (don’t know if i spelled his name right). he’d be an upgrade to xhaka who’s been underwhelming to say the least. this formation doesn’t suit xhaka and if wenger is going to persist with it, best he bring in someone like schneiderlin. if memory serves me correctly, wasn’t there an issue with his agent/management team and arsene wenger? we’ll see.

  9. I’d even sell him for 18-20. He’s worth a lot less than that to us, and Nelson immediately takes his squad place. Use the fees and wages on Draxler or Pulisic, to replace Ozil in advance.

  10. I do have a higher opinion about Theo than most, especially as a CF.

    Sure he is limited, but his off the ball movement is very good. Plus his education at Arsenal means that he can even switch positions from, middle, left to right or vice versus.

    I did notice that at times, he even started on the left flank for us last season.

  11. I’ll never understand the tendency of Arsenal fans to scapegoat certain players. Ramsey most of the time, Theo today. Hey, I too think he’s the forward we should sell. But how about we show some more appreciation of the guy? This time last year, Theo was first-choice CF and, for a while, our leading goalscorer. The previous season he got 19. He is one of the better finishers at the club, and certainly not a crap player.

    Is his skillset limited? Of course, but so is that of Danny Welbeck, our non-scoring but highly athletic and disruptive (in a good way) CF frequently lauded by commenters here. Of Walcott and Welbeck, I know who I’d rather have seeing the whites of the keeper’s eyes. A significant formation switch, 343, doomed him. He can’t play wing-back, and he’s further down the batting order with Laca’s arrival. The decision of Giroud — told he could leave by Wenger — to stay and fight means that Walcott can’t get even sub minutes.

    Theo needs to leave, irrespective of salary. He’s conscientious and a good professional. Regardless of how much less another club offers him, he should do the right thing, for footballing reasons. And I think he will.

    1. He wasn’t our starting CF a year ago–that was Alexis, remember? He was in the starting lineup on the right hand side

    2. I don’t think it’s a big deal honestly. im Stillmann said something similar of the Ox sale last year, only at Arsenal we make such a hullaballo of selling basically a squad player. I don’t mind Theo, but he’s not the future of the club. If we have the chance, sell him on, before he loses his value.

  12. Wenger will stick to the kids I think in Europe until it looks like we might be in danger of winning it. The priority after the United defeat (which is one of those losses that hurts more as time passes) has to be to cement a top 4 finish.

    Walcott? I’d keep him unless we need to make space for a big player. His experience is starting to show – after 65 goals and 43 assists in 267 PL games (a 40% contribution rate, Lemar is e.g. 37%) his decision-making is improved, as is his determination and confidence. Whoscored gave him a 9.77 rating against BATE last time out. You don’t find experienced and productive players like that lying around.

    Even as a squad player he could be important for us. We have a full roster right now but couple of injuries and we will need him.

      1. I totally agree, Greg. Theo may be streaky but I feel a lot better about him on the RW compared to Reiss Nelson. He’s a moderately productive player in his prime, what’s so bad about having that in reserve?

  13. Walcott played well tonight in the 6-0. Scored & had an around good game. Jack was in a class of his own and may have earned a PL start. You have to temper this with the fact that BATE were truly crap.

    1. Ok, BATE were awful but 6-0 is still worth celebrating. Nice goals from El-Neny, Jack and Debuchy will do a lot of good for their confidence heading into a busy holiday period.

  14. Would Theo even consider moving North? There’s a famous piece of UK graffiti which says ‘it’s grim up North’. Not an understatement by any means. I know that Northern pro footballers are cosseted and live in the more pleasant Cheshire countryside, but the large towns of Liverpool & Manchester are best avoided for leisure activities, and would Melanie fancy it anyway?
    And it’s effing cold up North.
    West Ham would be a good fit for him though, or back to Southampton as suggested.

  15. I like Theo and can’t think of one unpleasant thing that he’s ever done. He doesn’t swear at the officials, or commit card worthy fouls (accidentally trod on someones foot recently), and even put his hand up on the one occasion he dived. Grows his beard for charity, talks kindly to the match day mascots, is good looking and has the most beautiful wife. Does it get any better?
    Is this a man crush or what?

  16. I don’t understand how any Gooner cannot enjoy Arsenal thrashing another team 6-0. Are BATE Premier League quality? No, but we’ve been dumped out cup competitions by plenty of non Premier League teams and have lost our share of shockers in Euro competition as well.

    Yesterday was great. Very happy for a couple of our guys who absolutely leathered the ball into the back of the net not having scored for the team in a combined 7 years or so, I read somewhere!

    I actually forgot Debuchy was still an Arsenal man. Excellent goal.

    Should Walcott go? Yes, I agree he should, he’s still to good a player overall to warm the bench. Plenty of teams counter-attacking teams could use what he brings with his speed and experience on a 2-3 year contract.

    Despite his years of underachievement, I like him a lot and wish him all the best.

  17. It’s good to see nice things being said about Theo Walcott. In a lot of ways he’s a victim of his own success at youth level because people had crazy expectations for him and he plateaued out a lot sooner than people thought (the Thierry Henry comparisons were a bit much, as it turns out). Doesn’t make him a bad player. There is probably something to the yarn about how he was coddled and indulged at Arsenal but we will never know how he would’ve turned out elsewhere. Just goes to show it’s hard to know where a player’s ceiling is when they are that far ahead of the curve at youth level, and yes, every player has a ceiling; Michael Jordan may have had an insane work ethic, but not everyone with an insane work ethic turns into Michael Jordan.

  18. Interestingly, Arsene has just said he prefers a back four, this coming after he played a 4-3-3 in the Europa League game and switched to that formation, to great attacking effect, when chasing the game against United.

    What do people think:

    a) Is he about to make the oft-predicted switch back against Southampton (in a 4-3-3? or a 4-2-3-1?)?
    b) Would this be a good move?

  19. A bit late to this topic as I was avoiding spoilers about the Europa game. Theo showed he’s still got something to offer. I wuold agree he should go elsewhere IF Alexis and Ozil were staying and we were going to stick to this formation.

    The switch to the back 3 made sense because we had a plethora of CBs and a lack of fit midfielders who were functioning in a partnership.

    I realise Theo is no Alexis or Ozil. But if we’re losing them two, I think we’d be better off adding a CM and switch back to a 433. If the rumours around Goretzka are true, I think that will happen. Theo may not be the most technical, but he’s got decent technique and pretty good end product. A useful player to keep around, even if it’s not as first choice. Of course, if you could replace him with better you should. As it is, I think he’s worth his place in the squad provided we don’t keep playing with wingbacks after Jan/next season.

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