By Richard Clarke

Theo Walcott has admitted that Thierry Henry's old 14 shirt was in fact his second choice when he switched from his previous squad number this summer.

The Englishman wore No 32 during his first three seasons at Arsenal but opted to change a couple of months ago. He wanted the No 8, last owned by Freddie Ljungberg. But that had already been given to new signing Samir Nasri therefore Walcott decided to move to the shirt worn by his hero, even though he knows that 'TH14' carries a massive reputation

"For me it is best just to think of it as a number." said the 19-year-old. "But then I knew what to expect when I picked this number.

"I actually asked for No 8 at first but Vic [Akers] said that Samir Nasri had it so I was not complaining there. Then he said No 14 was available so straight away I said 'I'll have that' .

"Thierry was my idol. He looked after me when I was first here. It was brilliant to train with him every day and watch what he did. He was the best striker I have ever seen. So I suppose it's like Ade having No 25 because Kanu had that.

"But as I say for me it is just a number."

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7 Aug 2008