By Rob Kelly

Arsène Wenger believes Theo Walcott is benefiting from the “freedom of movement” within a fluid Arsenal team.

The England striker has scored seven times in 11 appearances for Arsenal so far this season, including a superb hat trick against Reading on Tuesday night.

Wenger has been delighted with the 23-year-old’s progress, and believes much of that is down to the nature of his side’s attacking approach.

“In our team, we have freedom of movement. Nobody is handcuffed,” the manager said. “When we have the ball, we have a lot of freedom to move.

“It’s important to know where we go, but I think Theo has learnt a lot on that.

“He has good pace, [makes] excellent, intelligent runs, and what has changed with Theo is he’s become a very good finisher. I would take an example of his first goal the other night at Reading. It’s a real ‘finisher’s’ goal.”

Walcott’s current contract expires next summer, but Wenger is hopeful of extending the forward’s stay.

“I’ve not thought about that [losing him], because at the moment I think we will still manage to make a deal with him,” he said. “There is urgency [about sorting it out]. We want to sort it out before Christmas, one way or the other.”

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1 Nov 2012