Arsenal: 5 Players That Could Replace Theo Walcott If He Leaves in January
The Theo Walcott saga has been rumbling along for a while now, but the January transfer window is fast approaching, which will hopefully give us all a conclusion. Arsenal has generally suggested that the player won’t be leaving in January.
However, it is often said that actions speak louder than words, and Arsene Wenger is not showing signs that he sees the player as a crucial member of his squad anymore. Walcott has been used as a bit-part player this season, and given his contract dispute, a move away from the club looks likely.
There is also a debate about where in the team he should be used. The player himself sees himself as a striker, but Wenger more often uses him as a winger, and usually from the bench. There is likely to be interest in the transfer window, so Arsenal will almost certainly sell to the highest bidder.
Therefore, December seems to be a good time to consider which players could be acquired to replace the England player. I think that given his versatility to play on the wing and as a striker, the list should include players that can be used in both of those positions. Also, the presence of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla means that a direct winger replacement may not be essential.
So, sit back, grab your favourite hot beverage and enjoy my latest slideshow.
Denis Doyle/Getty Images
Jesus Navas is perhaps the obvious replacement for Arsenal given his pedigree. In my opinion, this would represent a considerable upgrade for the club and would be an excellent piece of business. Arsene Wenger hasn’t signed many English players during his time here, so a foreign import is more likely.
The fact that Santi Cazorla is already here could also assist him in settling in, and the prospect of Navas and Cazorla appearing on the same team is something to surely excite Arsenal fans. But it is clearly important to not neglect the obvious abilities of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
The player is currently playing in Spain with Sevilla and it’s likely that he could be pried away to test himself in the Premier League. After all, he was linked with the North London club in the summer as a potential replacement for Walcott. Navas clearly comes with elite qualifications from playing in La Liga and international football with Spain.
Here is another Spaniard that may well be on the radar at Arsenal, especially after revealing he will be leaving current club Athletic Bilbao in the summer. Although a move for the forward is most likely to be made in the summer, it may be a case of living in the present.
The club is at a severe risk of not qualifying for the Champions League this season; trying to recruit a striker of Llorente’s abilities without Champions League football to offer would be a tough sell. In seems to me that a replacement for Robin van Persie has to be seen as a major priority, which may mean spending a few more pennies in the January window.
Julian Finney/Getty Images
It was suggested in the summer that Arsenal was keeping a very close eye on the Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko, especially after Manchester City were showing an interest in Theo Walcott. Therefore, it seems logical to think that scenario will return in January.
Arsenal may now be very keen on the situation to be materialised that would see Walcott go in one direction and Dzeko go the other way. After all, Theo isn’t seen as a vital component to the North London club anymore. And Arsenal’s need for added firepower is at an all-time high. Furthermore, Dzeko is more than a little frustrated at being Man City’s super-sub.
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
The talented Columbian striker was linked with the club in October when it was revealed that Arsene Wenger would have £35 million to invest in new players in the January transfer window. As previously mentioned, it is vital that Arsenal invest in a proper replacement for Robin van Persie.
The Gunners may want to continue to do things on the cheap by developing young players, and it is a laudable approach to running a football club. However, when a club like Arsenal earns as much profit as they do, it seems sensible to invest some of that in quality players.
Falcao is considered by many to be the world’s best striker, and he seems to be the obvious choice to replace the once worshipped RVP. It would be a signing like this that would put Arsenal on the map and maybe back in the title race. In any case, the club needs to establish itself as a buying club and move away from this selling-club stigma.
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
It has been reported that the Crystal Palace winger is on Arsene Wenger’s list of targets for the January transfer window. It seems like the player is continuously linked to the Premier League, and it is surely only a matter of time until he makes that switch.
However, the situation is slightly complicated by the fact that Palace is well placed in the Championship and thinking about a promotion. The argument states that they won’t want to sell their best player while being in the top two.
Nevertheless, that recent England call-up may have pushed their hand a bit, and Palace might be persuaded to sell if their form slips at all between now and January. I think it is also clear that the club would not be able to turn down significant cash if it were to arrive in January.
Arsenal would also seem to be a fairly good fit for Zaha, given their reputation for developing talented young players. It should also be noted that if he does turn out to be a replacement for Walcott, then he should get some fairly regular football in the Premier League.