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Wenger Wants Walcott To Stay and Repay

Arsene Wenger has suggested that Theo Walcott ought to repay the faith Arsenal have shown in him in the last seven years by signing a new contract with the club. Walcott's deal runs out this summer and the looming spectre of a Bosman grows more likely by the day.

Walcott's advisers had earlier suggested that Walcott's principle desire was to play upfront, but Arsenal have now given him opportunities at centre forward and still negotiations show no sign of being concluded.

Wenger was keen to remind Walcott of the faith Arsenal have shown in him during an inconsistent youth, 'What is important to keep the young players together is that at some stage I have stood up for them; I played you at 17, 18, 19 years of age and I know I took a gamble,' Wenger said.

'It is easier to take a player of 25 and put him in the team. You know what you are getting.

'If you put them in at 17 or 18, you have to stand up for them. You risk losing games while they are learning their job. Once you have produced them you want to say, 'Okay, let's stay together and win together.'

'Somewhere along the line they need to give back to the club what the club has given to them.

'When a guy gets to 30, you can understand it is his last contract and if he feels he wants a change.

'This is a more sensitive age, but basically, it is a reward for our policy.'

He added: 'I am happy to pay Theo the money he deserves, but I feel as well that I bought him at 16 years of age and spent a lot of money on him.

'I am a big supporter and I believe he is happy here. Theo has always looked to me like he is an Arsenal man.'

On Monday night at Reading, the Arsenal fans began to sing, 'Arsene, sign him up' before a cardre of fans countered the chant with, 'Theo, sign the deal.' A much more apposite chant in my opinion.




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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 21 2012

Time: 9:01AM

Your Comments

Nice words from Wenger, but empty. Theo is gone as far as I'm concerned. Wenger is simply making it clearer by the day that the hold up is from Theo. Let's use him till the end of the season and not let him go in Jan, but it's looking more inevitable that he will leave.
prits
Walcott and is agents are looking for a big pay day. He knows that the longer he waits the best deals will be in June whatever is on the table now and whether it's coming from Arsenal or whoever. If Theo were receptive to the obligation aspect (why should he be?) he would have concluded a deal before now. Arsenal will have to better whatever anyone else will put on the table to sign him on a free in order to keep him if that's what they want to do.
Amos.
Indeed, really this comment, playing him upfront, I think is Wenger’s way of saying, “This is definitely about money.” Not that I think he’s criticising that per se (I’m sure we’re paying Giroud and Podolski more than Montpellier and Koln were), but he probably anticipates criticism when Theo does go and I think he’s making his mark by saying, “When he goes, it will be because of money.”
Little Dutch
Walcott is as good as gone,u better start linin up another 17yrs old to replace him
Ken4CFC
Wenger's words convinced me Walcott is gone. The problem is we look like we have left it so late, he may be leaving on a Free. How Theo came from frustrating to being one we 'need' to keep is a story that has to be told some day soon.
Naijagunner
This is so sad. It's bad for Theo because he will stop developing and bad for us because of the symbolism of losing a big player, not to mention the effectiveness of the player. I am somewhat affronted by his attitude, in that he is still only 23 years old and surely the time to be thinking of cashing in is 3-4 years away? At the moment he should be thinking about his development. It's also a bit of a sla in the face for AW. Real shame. I hope he changes his mind but after stalling for 18 months, it's unlikely.
FunGunner
 

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