Arsène Wenger has paid tribute to Theo Walcott after the forward struck his 20th goal of the season at the weekend.

Walcott scored after just 20 seconds on Saturday afternoon as Arsenal triumphed 1-0 at Queens Park Rangers.

The 2012/13 campaign has been Walcott’s most productive in front of goal and Wenger believes the 24-year-old is now clinical when presented with an opportunity.

“He's more mature in his finishing,” the boss said. “[Against QPR] he scored a bit of a similar goal to the one against Man United. It's a short backlift, he makes good runs and he's calm now in front of goal.

Now you see every time he hits the target. He forces the keeper into a save

Arsène Wenger

“You certainly remember him when he arrived - in front of goal, the ball could go anywhere. Now you see every time he hits the target. He forces the keeper into a save. That's why his numbers are so much better.

“I use him on the flank because I try to put a player in the middle who can score goals and having another one on the flank who can score goals gives you a little bit of security. We finished with him in the middle.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Nik Brumsack 5 May 2013