Arsene Wenger says Theo Walcott “always becomes very dangerous” when Arsenal dominate in midfield.
The England forward has not started since he scored twice in the Gunners’ 4-0 win at Hull City back in March, but could return to Arsene Wenger’s side against Aston Villa in the absence of Danny Welbeck.
Walcott has only netted once since that win at KC Stadium but Wenger says that the 27-year-old remains a real threat.
"His game is the quality of the runs and for that you need to dominate the midfield to make him dangerous"
"The quality of his runs are the best I have seen,” Wenger said. “The quality of his movement around the box, when you play against deep-lying defenders or go on the counter-attack is completely top.
“When you dominate the midfield, Walcott always becomes very dangerous. The problem is when you do not dominate the midfield he is not the player who comes and takes the ball and plays a passing game. His game is the quality of the runs and for that you need to dominate the midfield to make him dangerous.”
Roy Hodgson is set to announce his 23-man England squad for Euro 2016 on Monday and, given Walcott’s misfortune at international level, Wenger is hoping he will be given the chance to make an impact for his country.
“When he was first called up for England he had played zero Premier League games,” the manager said. “At that age, you think, ‘This guy will go to all the World Cups’. But unfortunately, in 2010, it was in South Africa and he was not called up by Capello, then in 2014 he was injured.
“So three World Cups later, the only experience he has was from Germany when he was a little boy with no experience and he was not even used for a minute.
“After having such a promising international career, it has not been as good as you would have imagined. I hope that in the next four or five years that will be rectified.”
Referee: Mark Clattenburg
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