What would Luis Suarez joining Arsenal mean for Theo Walcott?

Theo Walcott could be the biggest loser if Arsenal sign Liverpool striker Luis Suarez for £40 million.

All reports are pointing towards a huge improved offer of £40 million from the Gunners, as they try to force Liverpool’s hand and sign one of the best Premier League strikers around.

The Gunners finally seem to be putting their vast wealth to good use, improving the team which will ultimately give them a better chance of securing silverware next season for the first time since 2005.

The danger, and the issue that Arsene Wenger must not overlook, is how such high profile signings are going to affect the players he already has, the players who worked so hard to make sure Arsenal finished fourth last season.

If Suarez comes in, it’s difficult to see how Theo Walcott is going to get anywhere near his desired centre forward role because it just pushes him further down the pecking order for that position.

Walcott’s contract extension to the summer of 2016 seemed to be based largely around the idea that he would slowly convert into a centre forward, from being stuck out on the right wing.

Olivier Giroud isn’t suddenly going to turn into a winger and while Lukas Podolski has been used in a left midfield role, he too has been used more regularly as a centre forward.

With Suarez, that means three players all more likely to get the position that Walcott wants to play for Arsenal, simply increasing the amount of time before he eventually gets that shot.

Walcott has to put a lot of his faith and trust in Arsene Wenger because at 24-years-old, time is definitely on his side and he doesn’t have to start throwing his toys out of the pram just yet.

It would just be a shame if the next time the issue of Walcott’s contract comes up - likely in a couple of years time as he only agreed a three-year deal in January, the same problems over squad status and position create delays in the negotiation process.

Walcott is very much an Arsenal man and doesn’t seem to have any desire to leave the club. He’s got a guaranteed position out on that right wing, but Wenger may have to throw him a bone every now and then, drafting him into a central striker role to keep any grumblings of discontent down to a minimum.

It’s difficult to judge because Arsenal haven’t actually signed Suarez yet but it’s a transfer, just like signing any centre-forward, which would create negative ripples just as much as it undoubtedly means Arsenal moving forward in a very big way.

How do you think Suarez’s arrival would affect Walcott? Should Wenger be using him as a forward or a winger?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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