Is Walcott destined to play up front?
Has the time come for Theo Walcott to be regarded as a striker rather than a winger?
His display during England's win against Bulgaria last Friday was the latest chapter in an increasingly persuasive argument that the 22-year-old has more value given a freer role rather than one which is limited to the right flank.
It is clear where Walcott would prefer to play - and he believes his time at Arsenal has aided his development in taking up a different position.
Walcott played 1,696 Premier League minutes for Arsenal last season. Photo: Getty
Following the Bulgaria game, Walcott, who was signed from Southampton in January 2006, said: "I'm not a natural winger, I was bought as a striker. If you are on the flanks, you have to make the runs anyway. You can't stay quiet on the wings and Arsenal are not the sort of team who will cross it anyway. We try and walk it into the net.
"I am not demanding anything - I will play anywhere for club and country - but hopefully if I keep on putting it out there with the manager, it will come. I would love it if it happens."
Walcott has drawn criticism in the past for not having a 'football brain', which seemed a particularly harsh assessment, but there are two aspects that seem to suggest that a more central role may be more suited to the speedy forward.
First, when faced with a defender in a one-on-one situation on the wing, Walcott does not appear to have a finely-tuned trick to go past them. Normally, he uses his pace. But if the defender closes the space down before the ball arrives at Walcott's feet, then he finds it hard to beat them. If he receives the ball and the defender is more than five yards away, then he can glide past.
Secondly, and this is down to his own intelligence on where to make runs to receive the ball, the frequency of his shooting and goalscoring has improved.
Despite suffering from an ankle injury at a crucial stage last season, he still managed to easily outstrip his previous records at the Emirates, doubling the number of shots from the previous season and trebling his goals tally.
On many occasions, he cut in from the right wing to receive the ball in the inside right channel before steering it past the opposing goalkeeper. And although it comes from the opposite flank, there is something in this movement similar to Thierry Henry - a figure Walcott regarded as a huge influence when the pair were together at Arsenal.
Walcott has also been taken to task for the quality of his final ball. But this is an area which he has worked on, too. In the Premier League last term, he created 23 chances, the same figure as the 2009-10 season, but set up seven goals as opposed to two.
As Walcott has said, the type of passes he has to make at Arsenal aren't often deemed as crosses, adding further weight to the argument. And the arrival of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, also from Southampton, may also encourage Gunners boss Arsene Wenger to give Walcott more licence to roam.
The recent Champions League win over Udinese in Italy, where Walcott was impressive and scored the winner on the night, showed the damage he can do in a variety of positions.
Let's be clear here. We are not talking of Walcott as an out-and-out striker in the Michael Owen role, more a link forward that can score goals, set them up and use his pace to encourage defenders to drop deep, therefore creating space for others.
Former England captain Alan Shearer believes it is a role which he can perform, given time to develop his goalscoring abilities.
"I think he can play through the middle but first and foremost he has to score more goals to prove he can do that," Shearer said. "Whether you like it or not, when you play through the middle or as a centre forward that is how you are going to be judged.
"I think that will come in time when he gets more experience, when he is playing more regularly and when he's free from injury. But he is a pest and nuisance and, because of his pace on the right, will get in behind defenders. When you've got that, the defence will start to get deeper and you can find those pockets of space in between the lines.
"At this moment in time, there are players that are better suited to that role. But If Walcott keeps playing like he has done for Arsenal and he did for England last Friday, then he will get an opportunity."
Walcott seems to be proving he is a forward with many assets to his game. And the more he operates across the pitch, the more defenders will hate playing against him. Limiting Walcott's role to the right will only make their job easier.