By Richard Clarke

Theo Walcott is a changed player, according to Arsène Wenger.

The 19-year-old striker has had an excellent end to the season and capped a fine individual display with the winner at Sunderland on Sunday.

Walcott is increasingly influential as a starter these days; a far cry from his role as impact substitute at the beginning of the season.

"I think he started as a promising young player and he finished it as a guy who can fight for a regular place in the side," said Wenger after the win at the Stadium of Light.

"The next step for him is to be a player who can produce regular performances and efficiency. I am very hopeful he can be that.

"Sometimes he can be too much 'in and out' of the game still but we have seen when he is in, he is completely in now."

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 Richard Clarke 12 May 2008