Nigel Winterburn: Theo Walcott could struggle to get back into Arsenal’s starting line-up

Former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn believes that Theo Walcott could struggle to get back into Arsene Wenger’s line-up once he regains his fitness.

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott is still recovering from a long-term knee ligament injury that he suffered back in January.

The England international is unlikely to return to action by the end of this month, and Gunners great Nigel Winterburn claims that when the 25-year-old is eventually fit, he will not get back into the starting line-up rightaway.

Speaking to talkSPORT, the 50-year-old former England international said: ‘I’m not sure Walcott will come straight back into the side... Theo is a player I really like, he’s got genuine pace, his goalscoring ability is very, very good. I think he’ll eventually come in on the right wing, and with Olivier Giroud out for a while it means Welbeck can play on his own up front, with maybe Sanchez going over to the left’.

One cannot help but agree with Winterburn. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not going to rush Walcott into action as soon as he recovers; the Frenchman is likely to gradually make him part of his set-up.

Walcott is unlucky to have struggled with injuries in recent times, but he has still retained the pace that makes him so fearsome and good.

The former Southampton star’s versatility to play out wide or more centrally means that Wenger will have more options when he is ready for match action.

Even when Walcott is fully fit, he will not be guaranteed a place in Arsenal’s starting line-up because of the competition for places. But that’s something that Wenger is not going to moan about, is he?

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