Former Arsenal star Charlie Nicholas has insisted that the club shouldn’t let Theo Walcott leave this summer with a whole host of rivals interested in signing him.
The England international has dropped out of the starting line-up since the end of February, and that in turn has raised questions about his future at the Emirates with his place at Euro 2016 also under threat.
While there is an argument to suggest that the time has come for the two parties to consider a split given Walcott’s inability to reach his full potential in north London, Nicholas is of the opposite opinion and believes that the Gunners will regret the decision if they do sell.
“There has to be suitors looking at him. I don’t see why Manchester United and Liverpool wouldn’t be interested,” he said, as reported by Sky Sports.
“Theo has the pace that people will be interested in and Chelsea might also be looking at him if they’re considering letting Eden Hazard go.
“I think if the money was there, Arsene would sell him but I would not. It scares me that he could go to another club and deliver.”
Nicholas went on to argue that the 27-year-old is still capable of scoring 20+ goals in a season, but given that he has only managed more than 10 in a single campaign on just one occasion, his argument is flawed as it has been 10 years since the former Southampton arrived at the club.
There is no denying that Walcott is an offensive threat and he possesses characteristics that will be a weapon for many sides with his pace and movement. However, perhaps the time has come for him to move on to a club where he fits better and will be guaranteed regular football.
Having now fallen behind the likes of Alex Iwobi under Wenger, the future at Arsenal looks bleak for Walcott, but Nicholas does make a valid point in that there will naturally be a concern that the forward could well find his form and be a major regret for Arsenal if he moves to another Premier League club.
However, how long can Arsenal and Wenger continue to hope that it clicks into place and Walcott becomes a prolific striker for them in a central position or otherwise? With pressure continuing to mount on the Frenchman, perhaps the time is right to make some difficult decisions ahead of next season.