Last week, Theo Walcott came out with the news that he wanted to play on the right wing again, after failing in his bid to convince anyone that he was a striker.
He was given a run in the Arsenal team in a centre forward position last season, but after failing to impress, Arsene Wenger restored Olivier Giroud to the position, and Walcott to his place on the bench.
There has always been question marks over where the England man is best utilised, but when Walcott said he wanted to play on the right wing, everyone kind of assumed that’s where he’d be used this season.
But, now Wenger has done a complete U-turn, and claimed Walcott’s best position could be as a striker.
Speaking after Arsenal’s 8-0 win over Viking, Wenger said:
I believe [Walcott] has all the ingredients to be a great striker.
He has the quality of his runs, he’s a very intelligent player, he’s a good finisher. He’s not a great defender so to use his runs in the final third for us could be very efficient.
On the flank today so much defensive work is asked of the players. You lose a lot of his qualities when you put him there.
I don’t really doubt that for me, in my head I will use him more up front.
So there we have it, Wenger thinks Walcott – who only scored five league goals last season – is a striker, which is probably good news for Giroud, who will fancy his chances of keeping the speedster out of the team.
Perhaps the timing of the Frenchman’s comments is key here – it’s easy to say someone can be a striker when your team has just put eight past a poor Norwegian team, especially when Walcott grabbed one of them.
Or maybe it’s Wenger’s way of saying he rates other wingers more highly than Walcott right now, with youngster Alex Iwobi scoring two against Viking, and speculation linking Riyad Mahrez with a move to the Emirates still rife.
Who knows where the one time boy wonder will play this season – our bet is that it’s mostly from the bench.