Theo Walcott believes there is currently no better team in Europe than Arsenal – following their surge to second in the Premier League, and securing a place in a second successive FA Cup final.
It was all doom and gloom at the Emirates Stadium in March when the Gunners were miserably dumped out at the last 16 round of the Champions League to Ligue 1 outfit AS Monaco – but Walcott claims they deserve recognition for their form following the exit.
The England international, who has found playing time limited since returning from injury, as new signings Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck have pipped him to a starting position, is full of praise for his team-mates.
The 26-year-old reckons that, had it not have been for so many injuries to first-team stars, Arsenal could even be lifting the Premier League trophy at the end of the season.
‘There’s a lot of competition for places so everyone seems to lift a gear and play extremely well. It makes it a bit more difficult for people to get into the team. I think, especially this season, not many people thought we’d be second and challenging for the Premier League,’ Walcott told the official Arsenal website.
‘In this calendar year, we’ve been the best team in Europe,’ he added.
‘It’s the strongest the squad has been and everyone is staying fit as well. There aren’t many injuries in the squad, which is important. If we had an injury-free season, I think we could lift the title.’
Arsenal are unbeaten in their last 10 fixtures – since the shock 3-1 loss to Monaco at the Stade Louis II – and could end the season by keeping their hands on the FA Cup trophy, as they take on Aston Villa in the final at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, May 30.