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Wenger sees Walcott as a striker

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says that he sees Theo Walcott’s future with the Gunners as a striker and not as a winger.

Walcott, 27, spent most of last season up front acting as the backup for Olivier Giroud. The Stanmore native recently gave an interview where he expressed his desire to play on the wing and make the position his own. But it seems like his manager disagrees, as Wenger sees him as a striker.

“I believe that he has all the ingredients to be a great striker, because of the quality of his runs,” Wenger said.

“He is an intelligent player, a good finisher. He is not a great defender so I believe that to use his runs in the final third for us could be very efficient. After that, I think scoring goals playing there, giving him confidence to play there, will slowly convince him maybe that he can be absolutely fantastic there.

“On the flank, today there is much defensive work asked from the players that you lose a lot of his qualities when you put him there. For me in my head I will use him more up front.”

Wenger also said that Walcott was hoping to grab an England spot for Euro 2016, but he was left off the squad by Roy Hodgson.

“It was a big shock for Theo not to go to the Euros. Maybe he [Hodgson] felt in some games he didn’t [do well]… especially in one game there was a question for him and that was the game at Man United where everyone questioned him in this position.

“I think on the day he didn’t perform well, it was not only Theo Walcott who didn’t have a great game, it was everybody. From then on, people became skeptical.”

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