The penny still hasn't dropped: Ex-England man Chris Waddle dismisses Theo Walcott's striker hopes

Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott will never make it as a top-class striker at Arsenal, according to former England winger Chris Waddle.

Walcott has nudged ahead of Olivier Giroud as the Gunners' first-choice striker this season in the absence of the injured Danny Welbeck, and the England forward has caught the eye at times, scoring seven goals in 15 appearances for club and country so far.

However, back-to-back victories for the Gunners against Bayern Munich and Everton have come with goals form Giroud in both games, and while the France international offers a very different threat to the pacy Walcott, manager Arsene Wenger may be tempted to opt for the target man over the next few games.

Ex-England wideman Waddle has questioned whether Walcott will ever be able to establish himself as a first-choice striker for a team with as lofty ambitions as the Gunners, and thinks that the former Southamton youngster should look to club legends like Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry to learn how to play the centre-forward role.

Waddle told The Express: "I don't know if Theo is a natural goalscorer," he said. "He has got pace and anybody with pace is always going to cause problems, but his movement could be better.

"You look at players like Theo who have been at the club for a long time and wonder whether they have got better. Yes, they have got older and stronger. But there is still that final ball missing and I don't think he has improved as much as you would want.

"It is alright having pace - it is knowing how to use it that counts. He makes one run and then he is out of the game.Alexis Sanchez and Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp went once and if that did not work they went again and again. They would know how to time their runs."

Arsenal face Sheffied Wednesday in the League Cup on Tuesday but Walcott is likely to be rested as Wenger prepared to shuffle his pack.

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