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Wenger - We need to give Walcott time

Arsene Wenger says it is essential to carefully manage Theo Walcott’s return to first-team football after 10 months on the sidelines.

The England international ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee during Arsenal’s FA Cup third-round win against Tottenham in January.

The 25-year-old made an eye-catching comeback against Burnley last weekend, but Wenger insists he will not rush Walcott into his starting line-up.

"He is now ready to play again and we just have to leave him in peace and give him the time needed to come back"

Arsene Wenger

“In our job, every time you have a big injury, there is a bigger chance of having another,” the manager said. “Overall he has been taken care of very well.

“He is now ready to play again and we just have to leave him in peace and give him the time needed to come back.

“He has been out for 10 months - I don’t know if you realise how long that is. People think it’s like mechanics.

“[Players are] not machines, they are human beings and to get back into the rhythm of the top, top competition will take time.”

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