Arsene Wenger: 'Theo Walcott now a more complete player' | Nigeria sports news, transfers & gossips

Arsene Wenger: ‘Theo Walcott now a more complete player’

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that Theo Walcott has become “more of a complete player” this season, despite the forward being left out of the latest England squad.

Walcott has not been named as part of Gareth Southgate‘s 26-man party for the upcoming friendly against Germany and World Cup 2018 qualifier with Lithuania.

Speaking prior to Thursday’s squad announcement, Wenger stressed that Walcott – who has 17 goals in 29 appearances across all competitions this term – is now a more valuable asset as he can perform regularly on the big stage.

“He has become more of a complete player, more efficient,” he told reporters. “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.

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“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.”

Walcott, who turned 28 on Thursday, has been told by Southgate that the door has been left open for a return in the future.

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Ajike is one of Nigeria's top Sportscasters with over 15 years of experience in writing and talking Sports.

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