Arsene Wenger praises the transformation of Arsenal forward Theo Walcott

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has praised the mental strength of forward Theo Walcott.

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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