Rio Ferdinand: Why Arsene Wenger is hurting Arsenal

Rio Ferdinand wants to see Theo Walcott given a sustained run in Arsenal's starting line-up

Rio Ferdinand believes that Arsene Wenger is “hurting” Arsenal by his decision not to give Theo Walcott a sustained run up front for the Gunners.

The England international came off the bench to score the Gunners’ only goal as Wenger’s side slipped to a disappointing 2-1 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League opener on Wednesday night.

Olivier Giroud was preferred up front for the Gunners but the French striker was sent off for a second bookable offence in the first half in Croatia.

The 26-year-old Walcott has now scored four goals in his last three games for club and country.

And former Manchester United defender Ferdinand says Walcott should be rewarded for his good form with a consistent run in Wenger’s first team.

Ferdinand said on BT Sport: “I think Wenger is hurting Arsenal in a way, by not giving him [Walcott] a sustained period of playing up front. Give him a chance to prove himself.

“If he can’t do it, then go out and buy someone.

“The kid gets a chance [and] he always leaves you wanting a bit more because he scores a goal, he misses a few chances but he always gets in there and gets a goal at some point.”

MORE: Read the latest Arsenal player tweets

Arsenal return to Premier League action this weekend when they travel to Chelsea in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off.

The Gunners are currently third in the Premier League table, five points behind leaders Manchester City.

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