Arsenal fans can now breathe a huge sigh of relief with the news that Theo Walcott has signed a new four-year contract at the club, categorically dispelling rumours of a summer exit for the Englishman.
Walcott has signed a new deal with Arsenal which puts him into line with the north Londoners’ highest earners, with Santi Cazorla also signing an extension. The England international star has put pen to paper on a deal worth £140,000 per week, says the Telegraph, placing him on the same amount Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez presently earn at the Emirates.
Walcott missed a large chunk of last season as he struggled with a knee injury but he returned to his best, opening the scoring in the 4-0 drubbing of Aston Villa in the FA Cup final last term.
The Telegraph reckons Gunners’ gaffer Arsene Wenger has prioritised signing a new goalkeeper and tying Theo Walcott down to a new deal as his main business of the summer. Now that both have been done, the Frenchman will now be looking forward to signing a new centre forward and Karim Benzema has been touted as his preference, with Robert Lewandowski his second option should Benzema’s deal fall through.
Wenger will be delighted that the Walcott contract situation has now been resolved before tomorrow’ Community Shield encounter with arch rivals Chelsea at Wembley. With the season opener also drawing nearer, the new deal saga could have disrupted the team and the player had it not been settled.
Walcott is seen as an alternative to Olivier Giroud with his blistering pace and impressive composure, hence Wenger’s desperation to tie him down.
Regarding the extension to Cazorla and Walcott’s contracts, Wenger spoke to the club’s official website: “We are delighted to extend the contracts of Santi and Theo.
“Both are top quality players who are hugely important and influential to our squad.
“As well as their huge contributions on the pitch, they both have a great deal of experience and are very popular off the pitch. We’re very pleased with them both signing contract extensions, as it provides our squad with further stability of quality.
“Everyone at the club is looking forward to the continued contributions of Santi and Theo in the seasons ahead.”
The new contract for Walcott has now put to bed speculation that the 26-year old pacey attacker may move to Liverpool. The former Southampton player now becomes the longest-serving player in the Arsenal squad having joined in 2012 from the Saints.