Theo Walcott is the personification of unfulfilled potential.
After moving to Arsenal in 2006 and being dubbed England’s next big thing, he’s barely done anything worth talking about in his career.
He’s been in and out of the Arsenal team over the last decade, and also struggled to hold down a regular England place.
Much of that inconsistency has been down to doubts over where his best position is.
For the majority of his career, Walcott has been a winger, using his electric pace and movement to get in on goal.
However, after scoring a few goals and wearing Thierry Henry’s old number at the Emirates, Walcott decided he wanted to be a striker, and quickly failed.
He soon disovered he was too small to play as a centre forward in Arsenal’s 4-3-3 system, and Olivier Giroud had no problem keeping him out of the team towards the end of last season, despite not scoring in 12 games.
So now, with Arsene Wenger chasing both Riyad Mahrez and Julian Draxler, Walcott has targeted his old wide position as the place he wants to play in future.
Talking about his preference, Walcott said:
I have told the manager that I want to be known for playing on the right again, although I can play up front.
As for myself, I know where I want to play. The manager has said I can play up front. It depends on what game it is. I know I can do a job up front as well as on the right.
I want to make my position on the right; that’s where I am now.
That’s the same right hand side as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain plays, and Arsenal also have Alex Iwobi and youngster Jeff-Raine Adelaide pushing for first team opportunities, so there’s plenty of competition for the England man.
But Walcott knows he’ll be pushed hard for a place:
I have been here 10 years.
There is always competition for places. It doesn’t matter what club you are at. I always believe that I can get back to where I want to be.
I’m sure if I keep working hard then I will get there.
Considering Walcott isn’t enjoying the best of pre seasons (he hasn’t scored at all) and Oxlade-Chamberlain smashed a cracking goal against Chivas last week, the 27-year-old may have to bide his time for another chance.
Surely he’s best off moving on and trying to restart his career elsewhere?