Following the agreement reached in respect of Oliver Giroud’s two years contract extension, reports have emerged that Theo Walcott is next in line for a contract extension. His current deal runs out in 2016. The 25 year old England international, who just returned to light training as he makes his way back from a knee ligament injury, joined Arsenal from Southampton as a 16 year old in January 2006 in a fee that rose to £12 million.
He has since gone on to establish himself as a winger cue striker that strikes fear into opposition defences with his pace and movement in the final third. Since 2006, he has gone on to make over 200 appearances for Arsenal in all competitions, and he is the player with the most goals in the present Arsenal squad.
Theo Walcott signed his last contract extension in January, 2013 just six months to the expiration of his deal, after a long drawn out negotiation with the club. A situation that saw him benched several times from the team that season. But he still ended as Arsenal’s top scorer in the 2012/2013 season with 24 goals.
The former Southampton Academy graduate was already on five goals from 13 Premier League appearances last season before he succumbed to a ligament injury in the FA Cup third round match against North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur which has resulted in him not playing for the last ten months.
Arsenal would be hoping that the planned extension to his contract would go smoothly this time after his last contract was allowed to run down which gave Theo Walcott the upper hand to extract more from the club in a negotiation that ran for months which resulted in Arsenal displaying some high hand tactics.
The new contract being offered to the club’s core players has taken Arsenal’s wage bill above London rivals Chelsea for the first time in over a decade. With more players being signed up to new deals, and new signings in the frame, it is expected to rise further in the coming seasons.
Several Arsenal faithful would be keeping their fingers crossed that Theo Walcott’s return to full fitness would coincidence with an up turn in form for Arsenal. The 25 year old has yet to fully fulfill his potential for Arsenal since his arrival almost nine years ago. He was showing glimpse of his best form before his injury set back, many within the fan base would be hoping that he can kick on from where he left off when he returns from injury, and a contract to tie him down as the other players have done can only serve as a boost.