Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger: I like what I’ve seen from Theo Walcott up front
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he has been encouraged by Theo Walcott's displays when he has been asked to play up front
Arsene Wenger says that he has been encouraged by what he has seen from Theo Walcott when the England international has been deployed in a central striking role for Arsenal.
The England international has made no secret of his desire to play through the middle after being used largely as a winger during his time at Emirates Stadium.
Walcott was played as a striker during the Gunners’ 5-2 win at Reading earlier this month and netted his side’s fifth goal at the Madejski Stadium.
And Wenger, whose side host Newcastle on Saturday, has been pleased with the 23-year-old’s performances when he has used him as a striker.
“I like the signs that I have seen,” said Wenger. “If you look at my statements, I always said that one day he would play through the middle and it grew in his brain.
“He is now 23. I decided to play Thierry Henry at 23 through the middle because you have to learn a lot before. The fact that you play in other positions as well helps your technique.
“On the wing you need a shorter technique against the line. Once you [then] play in the middle you can go on both sides.
“From [the ages of] 19 to 23, Theo has learnt a lot. Now we will sometimes play him on the flanks and sometimes through the middle. I like what I have seen through the middle.”