By Chris Harris
Theo Walcott has the instinct and finishing ability to be a successful striker, according to Arsène Wenger.
The England international scored his second hat-trick for the Club on Tuesday night as Arsenal recovered from a four-goal first-half deficit to beat Reading 7-5 after extra time in the Capital One Cup.
Walcott sparked the comeback with a well-taken opener and made it 4-4 in stoppage time before firing the visitors ahead as penalties loomed. The 23-year-old has made no secret of his desire to play as a centre forward and Wenger believes he can do a job there.
"I always said that he will be a striker, so we are on the same wavelength there," said the manager.
"First of all he is a good finisher now - the way he scored the first goal. Secondly, I believe he knows where to be in the box on the rebounds. I like that - that’s a quality of a striker that you cannot give to anybody. You feel it or you don’t. He has the qualities to play there and he was superb [on Tuesday night]."
Wenger reiterated his desire to keep Walcott at Emirates Stadium and praised him for his attitude while negotiations continue.
"That’s what I hope [that he is a striker at Arsenal]," said Wenger. "I always said that I want to keep him. Apart from [the] contract talks, you have to give him credit for the way he is committed for the team and the way he behaves."Copyright 2013 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 31 Oct 2012