Arsenal Transfer Rumors: Gunners Must Open Contract Talks with Theo Walcott
There is no denying the talent drain that has weakened Arsenal over the years. Last season, the squad lost Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. This year, Robin van Persie wants out.
Will Theo Walcott be next?
It's certainly a possibility, though Arsenal is thought to want him back. The only problem is, the club has yet to open contract discussions, according to David Hytner of The Guardian:
Arsenal have yet to open new contract talks with Theo Walcott, despite the forward being in the final 12 months of his contract and the club not entitled to receive anything in player development costs if he were to leave on a free transfer.
According to Hytner, Arsenal was interested in opening talks during the season.
Walcott was scheduled to start discussions with Arsenal over a new deal in January but his form dipped and he decided to concentrate on recovering it and postponed the talks. No window was found at the end of the season and Walcott is currently on holiday after playing for England at Euro 2012.
If Van Persie indeed is sold this summer, the Gunners desperately need to retain the services of Walcott.
While summer signings Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud will certainly help replace the Dutch striker, Walcott's pace up the wing and flashes of brilliance he's shown in his young career would be hard to replace.
Podolski and Giroud would be expected to score goals, yes, but Walcott and Gervinho would be looked to make a much larger impact in 2012 for the Gunners. Each bring a ton of potential, pace, good control on the ball and the ability to score on the counter.
And each needs to live up to that immense potential.
Walcott made a big impact for England in this year's Euro Cup, adding a lot of energy and excitement when he was brought on the pitch as a substitute in the tournament. He scored a splendid goal against Sweden and orchestrated Danny Welbeck's fantastic finish in that same game as well.
He showed flashes of what he could become if only his consistency would improve. Arsenal can't afford to lose him just yet.
Time to open up those contract talks, Gunners. The talent drain needs to end here.
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