Martin Keown says outstanding Theo Walcott must get more Arsenal chances

Martin Keown wants to see Theo Walcott given more starting opportunities by Arsene Wenger.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has told The Mail he wants to see Theo Walcott given more opportunities by boss Arsene Wenger.

England international Walcott has struggled to get a run in the side since returning from a serious knee injury early in 2015, and this in turn has made it difficult for him to find any form.

Keown has called on Wenger to show trust in Walcott from the start in a big game, to spark him back into life.

He said: "There’s no doubt Theo is an outstanding player but consistency is something he has struggled to find. Much of that is to do with injury.

"I’d like to see Wenger play him in a big game from the off. Coming off the bench can make it about the individual and it’s hard to have an impact in 15 or 20 minutes. But there is a different mentality when starting. Being trusted from the off in a big game would give Theo the best chance to show what he can do."

Walcott has only made three Premier League starts this season, and five appearances off the bench.

He has two starts in the FA Cup, in which Arsenal play an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley this weekend against Reading.

It is the sort of game which Keown describes but does not specifically single out, as being an ideal one for Walcott to get back to his best and show what he can do.

Yet with the Gunners in such outstanding form at present, it's easy to see why Arsene Wenger is reluctant to change the team around, especially as Walcott hasn't played a minute for Arsenal since the March 17th Champions League second leg against Monaco when he was a late substitute.

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