Arsenal boss Wenger explains his decision to play Walcott on the wing

Arsene Wenger says he continues to deploy Theo Walcott as a winger because he feels it gives his Arsenal side "security"

theo walcott
Theo Walcott signed a new Arsenal contract earlier this season Photo: Nike

Arsene Wenger says he continues to deploy Theo Walcott as a winger because he feels that having a goal-scoring player in that position gives his Arsenal side “security”.

Walcott has made no secret of his desire to be deployed as a central striker but has been handed that role on only a limited number of occasions this season.

But despite Olivier Giroud’s suspension, Wenger has preferred to deploy Lukas Podolski up front and keep Walcott on the right wing.

And Wenger explained: “I use him on the flank because I try to put a player in the middle who can score goals and having another one on the flank who can score goals gives you a little bit of security.”

Walcott’s opener inside 21 seconds gave Arsenal a 1-0 victory at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

The goal was his 20th of the season in all competitions for the Gunners – and Wenger praised the 23-year-old for his improved finishing.

“You certainly remember him when he arrived – in front of goal, the ball could go anywhere,” said the Frenchman. “Now you see every time he hits the target. He forces the keeper into a save. That’s why his numbers are so much better.

“He’s more mature in his finishing. [Against QPR] he scored a bit of a similar goal to the one against Man United. It’s a short backlift, he makes good runs and he’s calm now in front of goal.”

Arsenal host Wigan in their next Premier League game on 14 May.

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