Last chance? Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury may open door for Walcott

Theo Walcott 2

Theo Walcott could see his first team chances increased after an injury to his Arsenal teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's hamstring injury may have opened a door for Theo Walcott that has been strangely closed for the last few months.

With Arsenal's 25-year-old star struggling to impact a squad brimming with rapid attacking width in Alexis Sanchez, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck, it may be now or never for him.

Walcott made no England appearances at all last season, having missed pretty much the whole of 2014 with a knee injury he sustained against Spurs in January.

The severity of that injury was a huge blow for the former Saints man as he had been enjoying somewhat of a return to form before then.

Arsenal have had to constantly deal with more than one player missing large portions of several seasons over the last decade or so.

First it was Robin van Persie who could never seem to stay fit, then Tomas Rosicky, About Diaby, and now Jack Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott are all experiencing trouble when it comes to going relatively injury-free for a season.

England winger Walcott has had to bide his time since returning from injury, suffering a groin strain soon after his initial recovery from the cruciate injury.

But the 25-year-old was on the bench as early as December, and has had to make do with substitute appearances and FA Cup outings for the most part since then.

The fact Walcott hasn't managed to feature from the bench in the last three league games goes to prove how difficult he is finding it to find a place in an Arsenal side that has Mesut Ozil and Sanchez on the wings.

With Oxlade-Chamberlain the more likely one to come in for either of those big money recruits from La Liga, Walcott has often found himself twiddling his thumbs on the sidelines rather than on the pitch.

With Oxlade-Chamberlain ruled out for 3 weeks to a month after his injury in the FA Cup win over Manchester United, Walcott has to be prepared to seize any chance to impress that comes his way.

If he doesn't, he may find himself permanently relegated to the role of bit-part player at the Emirates, something he wouldn't want as he approaches his 26th birthday.

The next two games will be vital to Walcott's Arsenal career - if he doesn't get given a significant chance against West Ham United, or even more importantly, against Monaco as the Gunners chase a 3-1 deficit, it's hard to see a way back for him.

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