Merson: Arsenal absolutely must secure a deal with Theo Walcott, everybody wants him

Arsenal must do all they can to re-sign Theo Walcott, says former star.

Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has demanded the Gunners do all they can to re-sign Theo Walcott.

Merson was speaking to SkySports about the England international, whose contract expires in June 2016.

The club had aimed to get him to extend to 2018 when he signed his current deal in 2013, the BBC reported, but Walcott preferred a more short-term option.

Merson believes if Arsenal don't sign him it will go onto become a big regret for the club.

He said: "Arsenal need to sign him up, because he's someone who will come back and haunt you badly.

"Everybody in the country will want to sign Walcott; he will get you 15 to 20 goals a season. Arsenal need to sign him very, very quickly. He's a must, an absolute must."

The Mirror reported just last week that Liverpool are interested in the winger.

During Walcott's last drawn out contract saga, there was a lot of debate regarding Walcott wanting to play as a central striker. 

Wenger did play him in the position while talks were ongoing, but whether deliberate or not, once he signed, his chances dwindled and right now, he is lucky to get in the team at all.

His rehabilitation from a knee injury took longer than expected, and the speedster has struggled to get into Arsenal's starting line-up since.

Another factor potentially playing on Walcott's mind is how close Arsenal are competing for silverware, and while the Premier League still remains just out of reaching distance it seems, the club have shown their ambition by signing top stars Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in consecutive summers, and are on course to win their second FA Cup in succession.

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