Walcott - I'm ready to be a leader

Theo Walcott is ready to step up and become one of Arsenal's leaders - on and off the pitch.

The 24-year-old has just completed his most productive season under Arsene Wenger, finishing third in the official Player of the Season poll after topping Arsenal's goals and assists charts.

Walcott is into his eighth year with the Club and, with 263 appearances to his name, is one of the longest-serving members of the first-team squad.

"I can give my experience… to the other young players. If something's not going well, I'll try to help someone out"

Theo Walcott

Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta were installed as captain and vice-captain respectively last season but Walcott believes he can also put his experience to good use.

"The amount of experience I've had at a young age, having to walk into a dressing room with the winners of the Premier League and the FA Cup and be the only one, with Abou [Diaby], who is still in that dressing room today [can help]," he told Arsenal Player.

"I can give my experience… to the other young players. If something's not going well, I'll try to help someone out. If things are going well, you just let them know that they are doing something well. I think that's my role a little bit and of course playing my best football on the park when I can.

"I don't like seeing injured players and the ones that aren't playing well getting setbacks. I like to build them up and either pop them a text, have a chat with them now and again at the training ground. That's just me. I like to feel for others and make sure that they're not on their own.

"Everyone's different," added Walcott. "Everyone's got their own methods in the way they play and communicate to people. You need the ones with the odd screw loose which we do have. It wakes people up and it [means] you can't go hiding.

"I think the balance between the young, experienced and the foreign-based players is [working] and now you can see the British core coming through from youth level upwards. I think we've got it right. The next step now is being more consistent."

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