Arsenal star Theo Walcott is expected to leave the Emirates Stadium during the summer transfer window, with the latest rumours pointing at a West Ham United move.
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According to the Sun‘s Duncan Wright, Walcott will turn down the chance to join Chelsea in favour of a move to east London with West Ham, ending his 10-year tenure with the Gunners.
Per the report, Arsenal are willing to cash in on the 27-year-old, with the club expected to sell for a fee of around £20 million. That shouldn’t prove an obstacle for West Ham, who are moving into their new stadium and want to show their ambition entering the 2016-17 campaign.
Marseille’s Michy Batshuayi, Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette and Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi are also on the club’s wish list, per Wright, and the versatile Walcott would provide the attack with an added boost.
The England international moved to Arsenal from Southampton in 2006 and quickly established himself as one of the club’s top young players. A natural fit out wide, he has frequently played as a striker as well, using his electric pace to devastating effects.
But consistency has always been an issue for Walcott, who can look devastating for a handful of matches and fall off the map completely in the weeks that follow. His lengthy injury history likely plays a part in that, per Transfermarkt.co.uk.
Per WhoScored.com, he flashed his tremendous talent during the 2012-13 season, with 14 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League, but his statistics haven’t been nearly as good since. This year, he has started 15 matches and has made 13 more appearances as a substitute, with just five goals to show for.
The speedster hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations, and with his role expected to diminish at the Emirates, the time seems right for a fresh start. Perhaps a change of scenery is all Walcott needs to blossom, and West Ham have already shown they can get the most out of struggling players, with Andy Carroll impressing for the side this season.