Theo Walcott's contract is running down, almost as fast as the error-prone winger himself. Having signed from Southampton for £12.5 million in 2006 as a 16-year-old, it is now fair to say that Walcott, 24 on his next birthday, has not lived up to his potential.
Despite playing 14 times for the Gunners this season in all competitions, Walcott has yet to finish the full 90 minutes in Premier League action and has spent the vast majority of his time warming the bench.
This is an obvious ploy by Arsene Wenger to show the England international what life is like outside the chosen few if you threaten to make it difficult.
“My desire is to keep Theo,” he said recently, despite being reluctant to play or start the star. “We do what’s needed to keep him and hopefully [as] I told you many times, we can sort this situation out very soon...Very soon is before the end of December—one way or another, that is for sure."
The caveat at the end is more than obvious—sign a new contract or you will leave. So far this term, Walcott has shown no real reason for Arsene Wenger to break the bank to keep him.
He has rejected a contract worth £75,000 per week and is demanding to be played as a centre forward. But, when given the chance to play, as he was against Fulham in Arsenal's recent 3-3 draw, he has been poor to say the least.
Given the money involved, £75,000 over five years works out at £19.5 million before bonuses, Arsenal would be far better off selling the player to Liverpool, where they could easily demand a fee of around £8 million.
It's not rocket science, it's not even Soccernomics—it's just good business. From there the Gunners could plot to replace Walcott with a real player.
Here Bleacher Report looks at six potential players who could replace Theo Walcott in a new look Arsenal attack. Read on, and don't forget to leave your comments and suggestions in the section below.