Simple math. Liverpool have just one healthy striker in their squad at the moment, Luis Suarez. Arsenal have Theo Walcott, who isn’t too keen on signing a new deal with the team, while his current contract expires in seven months. Once the January transfer window arrives, this transfer looks more and more plausible.
Walcott has been very sparingly used this season at the Emirates. Not because he isn’t needed; Arsene Wenger seems to be switching his target man and system up front every time his team steps on the field. But Walcott is being punished for not wanting to sign a new deal, something he warned them might happen if they let Robin van Persie go in the summer.
So far this season? He’s played 7 times in the Premier League, 6 of them coming off the bench. If Arsenal were doing incredibly well without him it would have been easier to understand, but they’re struggling when it comes to goals, as Olivier Giroud still can’t find consistency or patience from his manager, Gervinho simply isn’t cut out to be a target man and Lukas Podolski’s hot start has cooled down quickly. Walcott has two goals so far, tied for second best in the team.
In the league cup it’s been much better, scoring twice in the 6-1 win over Coventry and more importantly a hat-trick in the insane 7-5 win over Reading this week, including the last minute equalizer in regulation and the winning goal in extra time. If that doesn’t make him earn more respect and a place in the lineup, than nothing will. Wenger is looking out for the best interests of his club and probably his employers even more, which isn’t the same thing, as funny as that sounds.
Money, as always, is a big issue. Arsenal are willing to offer Walcott a 5-year, £75,000 deal. Walcott wants a six figure weekly salary, more regular play in the lineup and a shift from the wing to a central forward role. He wants to be recognized as a more important player than he has been until now.
Liverpool are willing to pay him £100,000 a week and give him the central forward role, and Brendan Rodgers hopes that £8-10 million will be made available to him to sign the England international from Arsenal. According to Arsene Wenger, the current stalemate with the player might actually force him to sell.
I wouldn’t like to sell Walcott. I’ve not even thought about that, because at the moment I think we will still manage to make a deal with him. But there is urgency. How much I don’t know, but there is urgency. We want to sort it out before Christmas, one way or the other.
I always said it is important that he plays in the right position and that certainly would be through the middle in the future. He showed that again on Tuesday night. ‘It’s better for Walcott to express his views in private. I have always come out publicly and said that I see him in the future through the middle as well.