Signing a new contract in the summer, Theo Walcott is increasing in importance at Arsenal.
He has impressed in his preferred role as a striker, most notably through a first-half hat trick against West Bromwich and one week later, netting the first goal in the FA Cup final which propelled Arsenal to their 12th successive success in the competition.
During Arsenal’s home win against Stoke, which saw the club break their duck in goals scored at the Emirates this season, Walcott as a striker showed glimpses of what fans can expect this year.
Walcott entered the game with 10 goals in 10 starts under his belt but had unfortunately missed a few chances prior to his goal; a rebound from Alexis’ header which hit the post and a free header on goal following a wickedly whipped in ball from Bellerín.
Nevertheless, a quality of a top striker is to show perseverance and tenacity after missing goalscoring opportunities – something Walcott certainly did after Ozil lofted over one of his signature through-balls.
The requirements to score such a goal often go unnoticed, so it is important to appreciate how well Walcott did to convert. He showed clear-cut concentration to take a cushioned first touch that set him up perfectly to finish through the goalkeeper’s legs.
Throughout the rest of the game Walcott kept displaying his ability to get into goalscoring positions, which is very promising sight; as long as he continues to improve his composure in front of goal he will flourish and can become a very potent goalscorer for Arsene Wenger’s side.
Fans are aware of his potential to improve in front of goal but Walcott already boasts a 20% conversion rate in front of goal over the past 4 seasons, which is certainly an exciting stat given Agüero’s is 21%.
Following Walcott’s performance it seems that fans’ frustration at not buying a striker during the transfer window has piped down, with Wenger’s vision starting to become more vivid.
Walcott’s pace is frightening for any defender and a continuation of his knack of scoring goals in recent times will certainly be thrilling to watch as the season unfolds.