'Theo is intelligent, focused and has integrity'

Press conference

'Theo is intelligent, focused and has integrity'

Having brought Theo Walcott to the club as a 16-year-old, Arsene Wenger has not only overseen his development as a player but also as a man.

The Arsenal manager admits it was tough to end a relationship that stretches over 12 years, but paid rich tribute to the England forward.

"Personally I’m very attached to Theo, because he’s a person who is intelligent, has complete integrity, total commitment and focus on his job," Wenger said.

"I remember he arrived here at the age of 16 and went to the World Cup straight away. Of course when you look back, he’s scored important goals in big games. We speak about cup finals or Champions League games, or the local derbies, where he put in outstanding performances against Tottenham.

"I just regret what happened but he didn’t play enough recently. I wish him well and thank him for everything he has done for us. He will always be welcome here."

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