Arsene Wenger intends to keep "sharp" Theo Walcott at Arsenal

Friday, 08 Dec, 2017

I want to keep the squad.

Arsenal have already progressed to the Europa League knockout stages and host Belarus' BATE Borisov in their final group game later on Thursday.

"We have the League Cup still we are in it".

Walcott arrived in north London some 11 years ago as a prolifically talented teenager, but never really made the breakthrough that early promise hinted at - only once starting 30 matches in a Premier League season, back in 2011/12. You do not want to become weaker. Now 28 years old and at a crossroads in his career, Walcott has been part of the furniture at Emirates Stadium for over a decade and is currently the club's longest-serving player. If you can combine the two then even better, but first it's what is important to the club'.

Giroud has started two of France's three matches so far this term, but Stephan is reported to have said that the 31-year-old must play more at club level to keep his worldwide place, and that perhaps a loan move in January would be a solution.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists he doesn't want to lose Olivier Giroud. At least it is not backed by the numbers. But competition is competition.

It's clear for all to see that Walcott has a big decision to make over the coming weeks.

'I have to consider the interest in the player, but dominant of that will be the interest of the club. Per Mertesacker is retiring next summer and Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal are not very far behind him in age, so surely can't have too many more years at the top. You consider many different things.

Walcott offers width when operating in his usual role on the right flank, but the Englishman is also versatile and can also play as a striker - another position where Allardyce needs support. The hunger index drops with the length of the contract.

He could join a number of Gunners players heading out the door in January, with Mathieu Debuchy, Calum Chambers and Carl Jenkinson all potentially departing on permanent or loan deals. I try to give them competition.