Date: 17th March 2017 at 1:12pm
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Arsene Wenger had nothing but praise for Theo Walcott ahead of the meeting with West Brom saying he had become a ‘complete player’ with his performances ‘more efficient’ for Arsenal this season.

Wenger was quoted from his news conference by Sky Sports as saying.

‘He has become more of a complete player, more efficient. He does better in the tactical part of his game and works hard defensively and offensively. He has been less injured as well, that helps.’

Adding that Walcott – he’s been guilty of failing to do so in the past – had ‘turned up in big games’ too.

‘He has turned up in big games as well, he can score goals in big games. He showed that against Bayern, he scored the goal and I think it was a penalty on him and he can influence games. The major quality of Theo is the quality of his receptions. That means he gets the ball in areas where he is extremely dangerous and that is a very intelligent part of a football player.’

Wenger has flirted with utilising Walcott in a central striker role at various times over the years but it was eventually decided the 28 year old is more effective playing on the right.

‘I was always convinced, because of the quality of his runs, that he was a central striker. He for a while was as well but he made up his mind during the summer break and he feels more comfortable on the right.’

This has worked for Arsenal as he’s scored 17 goals in 29 appearances this season. However, despite all the praise for Walcott from Wenger the Arsenal forward was then left out of the England squad by Gareth Southgate.

Explaining this decision Southgate was quoted by Sky Sports.

‘It is a really tough call on him. I don’t expect him to be chuffed to bits about it but I wanted to look at a couple of others. He’s still very much in our plans, and can force his way back.’

Admittedly Walcott hasn’t always delivered on the international stage but England’s loss is Arsenal’s gain!

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