Walcott not afraid of Henry comparisons, says Arsenal’s Wenger
Arsene Wenger believes that Theo Walcott is gradually earning the right to be compared to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry
Arsene Wenger believes Theo Walcott is gradually earning the right to be compared to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry with his impressive form for the Gunners.
Walcott has been one of the north Londoners’ stand-out performers this season and currently tops the Gunners’ goal-scoring charts with 16 goals in all competitions.
Wenger feels that the England international, who has displayed a natural instinct in front of goal this term, is on his way to emulating Arsenal’s all-time top goal-scorer – and the Frenchman has been delighted with the forward’s improvement in recent months.
“When we are in the job we are in you are compared to people,” said Wenger.
“I believe Theo is a very ambitious player and he will not be scared to be compared to a player like Thierry because he played for the same club, they have similar qualities. It’s a good example to follow.
“He is 23 years old and that’s when Thierry started to score goals. He will be a goal-scorer of course but I think what Theo has improved a lot is his team-work. It has become much better.
“He has improved everywhere – his defensive game is better, his link play is better, his movement is fantastic and his finishing has improved a lot.”
The 23-year-old, who netted in the 5-1 win over West Ham on Wednesday, finally put an end to the intense speculation over his future by signing a new long-term contract with the Gunners last week.
But Wenger does not believe that Walcott’s form has been directly related to his long-drawn-out contract wrangle.
“I think he was good before he signed his contract, personally,” Wenger said. “One thing I said even when he had not signed his contract is that he played always with the same focus and desire to win the games.
“I couldn’t fault him at all on any commitment on a professional level, even when his situation was not sorted out.”