Chelsea Transfer Rumors: Theo Walcott Not the Player the Club Needs Right Now

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Chelsea Transfer Rumors: Theo Walcott Not the Player the Club Needs Right Now
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
On his way out of North London?

Transfer silly season is almost upon us, and rumors are being churned out at full throttle in the build-up to what should be a busy first month of the new year 2013.

Now, with hundreds of stories coming out in a day, it can be hard for the common folk to separate fact from fiction.

One of the top stories doing the rounds in the English media right now is the potential departure of Theo Walcott from Arsenal.

The former Southampton starlet is yet to agree to a contract extension, while his current deal runs out in the summer of 2013. This has been a major source of frustration for his manager, Arsene Wenger, and it is only too clear that Walcott wants out now.

The early pace setters in the Premier League, Manchester United and Manchester City, are rumored to be amongst the interested parties for Walcott, as are Liverpool.

However, the latest on this from The Sun indicates that Chelsea are the surprise frontrunners for Walcott's signature, and are keen to land him in January itself for a cut price £15million.

This report goes on to suggest that Chelsea are looking to offload Daniel Sturridge, who has barely had a look in at the club so far this season, and intend to fill up the spot vacated by him with the present holder of Arsenal's number 14 shirt.

As I see it, the last thing the Gunners need right now is to lose yet another match-winner to a rival club. Much as you may be tempted to criticize him, Walcott has been producing the goods for Arsenal this term, and they'd be better off with him than without him.

Clive Rose/Getty Images
Is a Walcott-Nani swap still on the cards?

 

 

From an Arsenal perspective, the only transaction that would make sense would be a swap deal with Man United involving the England international and the forgotten figure, Nani.

But then, I don't think United would settle for such a deal. I'll be blatant about this: Walcott isn't a step up over Nani.

Now, what is particularly perplexing for me is Chelsea being credited with an interest in Theo. If there is one position on the field where the Blues are well-stocked, it has to be that band of three right behind the striker, incidently where Walcott features week in, week out for Arsenal.

Other than the much acclaimed trio of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar, Chelsea have Victor Moses and Marko Marin here, while Ramires and Ryan Bertrand have the capability to fill in when needed. One mustn't forget that Kevin De Bruyne is very much on Chelsea's cards, and he might be recalled from his loan at Werder Bremen come summer.

Having said all this, depth is not a problem in the aforementioned department.

Even if Rafael Benitez does intend to use Walcott centrally, this doesn't look like a sound investment to me. Although Chelsea are light here, it would be better off getting a more prolific goalscorer like Klaas Jan Huntelaar or Fernando Llorente for roughly the same price.

The fact of the matter is, the 23-year-old is highly reliant on his searing pace, and doesn't have the makings of a centre forward. He hasn't the kind of physical presence that Chelsea, or for that matter any club, needs from a lone front man. He would merely play second fiddle to Fernando Torres. Besides, there are superior alternatives in this regard.

Now, should a move for long term target Radamel Falcao materialize, Chelsea and Rafa would do well to turn their attentions to defensive midfield, where they could certainly do with reinforcements.

One has to question: Where does Theo Walcott fit in the midst of all this? He doesn't. He just isn't a player the Blues need right now.

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