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Arsene Wenger Explains Walcott Absence
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has explained why Theo Walcott hasn’t featured much in the first team in recent weeks.
Walcott returned in late December from almost a year on the sidelines but has found regular first team football hard to come by over the past couple of months.
Having made his playing return with a late substitute appearance against Southampton on New Years Day, Theo has started just four games in all competitions and has been an unused substitute in our last three matches.
It’s left many wondering why he’s been overlooked but Arsene has now suggested that he’s simply being cautious with the attacker’s integration back into competitive football after such a long time out, but feels he’s now ready to play again.
Wenger told Arsenal.com:
“He is all right now. With the cruciate, before the age of 25 you come back and you continue to develop normally,” he said. “A cruciate after 28 is much more problematic.
“No [there will not be any long-term issues]. He is a natural athlete and a sprinter, and a very straight-line sprinter. It means every shock he gets is at full power.
“He is ready now to play games. But when a player has been out for a year, when he comes back he always thinks he is ready. When you speak to him three weeks later and ask him if he thinks he really was ready [before] he says, ‘Now I realise, no’.
“I have been holding him back because he has been out for a long time and for the fact there is intense competition.”
It will be interesting to see if Theo starts against West Ham this afternoon after Oxlade-Chamberlain was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
I hope we do see Walcott given a start as he adds a new dimension to our attack and I think he’s been sorely missed over the past 14 months.