By talkSPORT – @talkSPORT
Monday, July 17, 2017
Speaking to talkSPORT, Theo Walcott insists he would welcome the arrival of more forward players at Arsenal this summer.
The 28-year-old lost his place in Arsene Wenger’s starting XI towards the end of the last season and is facing a fight to earn a regular spot this term.
Wenger has brought in forward Alexandre Lacazette this summer for a club record transfer fee and is also chasing another wideman, with Monaco’s Thomas Lemar on his radar.
But Walcott is not concerned by Lacazette’s arrival and the prospect of Lemar joining, with the England international claiming he would relish extra competition for places.
Speaking to talkSPORT in Australia, where Arsenal are on a pre-season tour, Walcott said: “I’m 28 now. I’ve dealt with competition throughout the years. I always welcome it.
“It always gets something out of you as well when other players become involved. You will see Alexandre coming in and other centre-forwards in the dressing room will be thinking, ‘right, I need to step up.’ That’s always the way it is.
“It is healthy. You have got good options then as well. But who knows who else the manager will bring in. We don’t know. We just get on with our job and try to get fit.”
Walcott made 33 appearances for Arsenal in 2016-17 but angered boss Wenger with some controversial remarks following a 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in early April.
He admitted Palace “wanted it more” than his side and subsequently lost his place in team, starting just one more match that term.
Walcott, though, insists he doesn’t regret his outburst.
“I’m an honest guy. I say what’s on my mind. I just want what’s best for the team,” he said.
“I was captain for the day, no one else was going to come out and I felt like I had to say something,.
“It’s out there now, it doesn’t really matter. The team went on to do quite well after all those games so there was a reaction.
“There was a lot of unhappy faces in the dressing room but we all got together, worked hard and got results in the end.
“We just missed out on the top four which was disappointing but considering how it went through the season, winning a trophy which is always something nice to look back on, it was fairly positive.”