Saturday, January 19, 2013
THEO WALCOTT FINALLY SIGNS NEW DEAL WITH ARSENAL
Winger Theo Walcott has finally ended speculation over his future by signing a new contract with Arsenal.
And after putting pen to paper on the contract, which expires in 2016, Walcott said: 'I have made it clear from the start that I wanted to stay at Arsenal so I am pleased we have agreed a deal that everyone is happy with.'
He added: 'What’s important now is for the team to realise its potential and win trophies.’
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: ‘We are all delighted that Theo has signed a new contract. He joined us as a 16-year-old and since then has developed very well to become an extremely important player for both Arsenal and England.
‘Theo’s contract extension now gives us a strong nucleus of ambitious young players who have committed to the club and want to be successful with us as a group. Theo is a strong player and also a great person’
The news ends Arsenal’s six-month battle to persuade Walcott to commit his future to the club.
Walcott turned down Arsenal’s first offer of a £75,000-per-week deal in August.
His advisers wanted a package closer to £100,000-per-week, which Arsenal refused to
The club were even preparing to sell Walcott during the final days of the summer transfer window, until a heart-to-heart between the player and manager Arsene Wenger resulted in the former Southampton man staying at the Emirates.
Walcott was mainly used as a substitute during the opening weeks of the season and Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all registered their interest in signing him either this month or at the end of the season on a free transfer.
However, having forced his way back into Wenger’s team and into a new preferred role up front, Walcott has in turn forced the Gunners to improve their initial contract with a catalogue of impressive displays.
Walcott already has 14 goals this season in all competitions, more than he has managed in any other season for the club and he is expected to spearhead Arsenal’s attack at Chelsea this weekend.