The England international, who committed his future to the club at the start of the month by signing a new four-year contract, is now the longest-serving player at the Emirates Stadium following Abou Diaby’s release earlier in the summer.
Since his arrival from Southampton in the 2006 January transfer window, the 26-year-old has gone on to make over 300 appearances for the Gunners, however, he has struggled fulfill his enormous potential due to a number of long-term injuries which has halted his progress.
Walcott spent most of last season recovering from a bad knee injury that he suffered during an FA Cup tie against Tottenham during the 2013-14 campaign and is yet to win back a regular place in manager Arsene Wenger’s strongest starting XI.
Despite this, the Gunners boss has been full of praise for the forward and believes he has been a great signing for the club:
“He has become very mature, he has gone through difficult periods so he is a very strong man,” the Frenchman said to the club’s official website.
“He is a man today, when he arrived here he was a boy, a little boy who discovered a world where he did not know anything about it.”
“Of course he had to go through bad injuries and disappointments and I believe he is a man today, a man who knows what he wants and has been faithful to our club. It was a great signing,” Wenger added.
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