60 second pundit
“Wenger is not going to be held to ransom” by Walcott
There would appear to be no quick fix to Theo Walcott’s problematic contract talks at Arsenal. The winger, who has entered the final year of his contract, has rejected a £75,000-a-week extension to his current deal and wants to play in a central striking role. Arsenal are refusing to pay any more and manager Arsène Wenger appears reluctant to play Walcott through the middle. As it stands, Walcott’s new contract is unsigned and he finds himself regularly perched on the Arsenal bench.
“It still sounds like an impasse,” explains the Guardian’s Dominic Fifield. ”Maybe finances are coming into it, maybe Wenger is looking at the performances of people such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and even Aaron Ramsey, who played wide right at Manchester City on Sunday and did very well. And Wenger maybe looks at it and thinks ‘We have other options – if it makes more financial sense to sell Theo in January, maybe that’s what we’ll do’.”
But with Walcott eager to stay and Wenger keen to keep him, surely an agreement can be reached that keeps him at the Emirates. It’s far from certain, says Dominic. “Wenger is taking on board a sort of pragmatism now he’s lost a lot of players – he’s not going to be held to ransom. If that’s his view, that’s his view. I think that Theo should stick about, I think he wants to stick about. But he’ll want to play regular football and at the moment he’s not getting that.”
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