Walcott has mainly featured in wide areas for the Gunners but has made no attempt to hide his desire to start as a centre-forward, a situation which caused a drawn-out situation regarding a new contract.
Walcott has the ability to play in a number of attacking roles yet competition for places is high at Arsenal, prompting Merson to suggest that he is intentionally seeking a striker role for a very different reason.
“I'm not sure if he's a good enough goalscorer to be playing at centre forward. His finishing has got better but he misses a lot of chances,” Merson explained in his blog for the Daily Star.
“Harry Kane, Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney are all ahead of him for the Euros in my opinion. He would have more chance of making the team as a winger.”
“But he probably told Arsene Wenger he wanted to play up front because he didn't think he would get in the Arsenal team on the wing.”
“It's easier to compete with Olivier Giroud than it is with Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.”
Walcott started England’s latest game against Estonia as part of a front three, scoring the opening goal and looking increasingly more dangerous in wider areas.
His pace and dribbling ability would be better suited out wide, yet he may look at his fellow teammates and feel it’s a tall order to get in the team ahead of the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
Whether that’s true is questionable. However, Walcott does possess different qualities to Olivier Giroud and his role during the 3-0 thrashing of Manchester United was important to the team’s style of play.