Martin Keown: What’s changed about Arsenal striker this season

The former Arsenal defender heaps praise on England striker Theo Walcott

Martin Keown has praised Theo Walcott’s change of attitude this season after the Arsenal striker scored a hat-trick in their 5-0 win against Southampton in the FA Cup on Saturday evening.

Danny Welbeck scored twice in the opening 22 minutes to take the pressure off the away side as the England international impressed on his first start since recovering from a serious knee injury.

However, Walcott stole the show after the ex-Southampton striker netted an impressive hat-trick against his former players to secure their place in the fifth-round draw.

The 26-year-old has now scored 99 goals in his Arsenal career and has found the back of the net 14 times in all competitions this season.

Speaking to BT Sport after Arsenal’s 5-0 win against Southampton in the FA Cup, Keown singled out Walcott for special praise.

“He made it look easy. I was at the club when he arrived. He was at a canter. Maybe everything was too easy for him,” Keown said.

“This season, he has decided that he has been here 10 years and he wants to be a big name. Can he be a regular? Can he win something? When you speak to him and talk to him you couldn’t meet a nicer guy. But there is a cutting edge to him now. He wants to be a winner.”

MORE: The latest Arsenal news and views

MORE: The latest Arsenal player tweets

Arsenal are in second place in the Premier League table and eight points adrift of current leaders Chelsea.

The Gunners will host Watford in their next top-flight fixture at The Emirates on Tuesday night.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Thomas Tuchel praises 'fantastic' Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
N'Golo Kante
Thomas Tuchel issues N’Golo Kante injury update ahead of Chelsea FC v Leicester City
Callum Hudson-Odoi
Thomas Tuchel sends message to Chelsea FC star Callum Hudson-Odoi
Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker reacts to Trent Alexander-Arnold's display in Liverpool FC's 4-2 win
Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp rates Chelsea FC and Man United’s title hopes next season
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Thomas Tuchel praises 'fantastic' Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
N'Golo Kante
Thomas Tuchel issues N’Golo Kante injury update ahead of Chelsea FC v Leicester City
Callum Hudson-Odoi
Thomas Tuchel sends message to Chelsea FC star Callum Hudson-Odoi
Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker reacts to Trent Alexander-Arnold's display in Liverpool FC's 4-2 win
Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp rates Chelsea FC and Man United’s title hopes next season
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature