Arsenal's Theo Walcott says new deal dependent on striking role

 

Theo Walcott says his Arsenal future may rest on whether he is selected as a striker in the future.

Theo Walcott's Arsenal career

  • 2005-06: Did not play
  • 2006-07: played 32, goals 1
  • 2007-08: 39, 7
  • 2008-09: 35, 6
  • 2009-10: 30, 4
  • 2010-11: 38, 13
  • 2011-12: 46, 11

The 23-year-old, who plays predominantly on the wing, is in the final year of his contract and rejected a new five-year deal worth £75,000 a week in August .

"I've been judged, with people saying it's all about money. It's never been that with me," Walcott told BBC Sport.

"Playing up front is important. It's one of the main factors for me."

The England international, who signed for £12.5m from Southampton in 2006, has made four appearances in the league this season, but three as a substitute, scoring one goal.

He added: "I signed as a striker. I've learnt my trade out on the wing.

"Hopefully, I'll get to play up front in the next few games. It's frustrating being on the bench, but it's one of those things I have to deal with."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger recently stated that it will be "difficult" to extend Walcott's contract if the player has not agreed a new deal by April.

Arsenal striker stats (played; goals)

  • Walcott: Arsenal p225 g43; career p248 g48
  • Gervinho: Arsenal p42 g7; career p230 g61
  • Giroud: Arsenal p6 g0; career p159 g65
  • Podolski: Arsenal p6 g3; career p253 g103

Walcott, who was promoting the Football Association's Just Play  scheme on Monday, added: "It's been a slow process.

"It's not going to happen any time soon. My last contract took six months to do. It's one of those things that is frustrating for me. Hopefully it can be sorted."

Walcott's wish to be recognised as a striker is a tough one following the signings of forwards Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud this summer.

Giroud has yet to score since his £12m move from Montpellier, but he netted 21 goals to help the French side to the Ligue 1 title last season.

Podolski has already scored three times for the Gunners in the current campaign, as has Ivory Coast forward Gervinho.

Arsenal's fourth striker Marouane Chamakh has yet to make an appearance this season.