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Theo - How Sol 'welcomed' me to Arsenal

Theo Walcott has revealed how it felt to sign for Arsenal in 2006 - and how Sol Campbell welcomed him to the club.

The England forward has signed a new contract to extend his stay in north London and, after nearly a decade at the club, he has been reflecting on his first days as a Gunner.

“Sol Campbell kicked me up in the air straight away!” Walcott told Arsenal Player. “That was a welcome to Arsenal.

“I also met Thierry and Robert Pires on the first day and I looked so nervous seeing my heroes straight away. Ashley Cole, Bergkamp, Ljungberg, Jens, Gilberto, everyone was great.

“Ashley and Sol were probably the main ones though. We went to the World Cup and I knew them from Arsenal so they looked after me. I got to train against one of the best left backs at the time, Ashley, so that definitely improved my game.”

Theo - Arsenal is my second home

Walcott has since established himself as a key figure for club and country and, with his 10th season in an Arsenal shirt rapidly approaching, the 26-year-old has revealed the driving force behind his desire to improve.

“What motivates me is the manager grabbing me when I was 16, unknown, and just giving me that opportunity, that chance to express myself, to show what I can do,” he said. “He had that belief in me.

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“I’ve got more of an ambition and a goal now to do it for the family, especially the little one. That’s just something that motivates me more now, something that drives you more.

“You look at all the top people in sport and they’re the people that, no matter what age they are, they always want to improve when they go into work each and every day. They’re that person who’s first at the ground and last to leave.

“It doesn’t matter what the age gap is, I’m still improving. When people hit their 30s they are still improving. You want to test yourself.”

 

Theo Walcott

 

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