Speaking after Wednesday's Carling Cup victory over Coventry City, Arsene Wenger was asked to discuss Theo Walcott's recent comments about his desire to play striker. Wenger affirmed the 23-year old's abilities, and said that he must remain patient:
I am not against [Walcott playing up front], not at all. We will try. At the moment we have a big competition up front, we have a different formula and the team is doing well. His time will come for that and at the moment we have to be a bit patient. He is a great finisher now, Walcott, in front of goal he is absolutely amazing.
Wenger also asked for the supporters' patience with regard to the winger's recent contract, the status of which we've discussed a bit on the site in recent days.
We all want him to stay. I always said exactly the same. I always said let's hope that we can sign up and extend [his contract]. I speak to Theo of course.
That Arsenal wanted Walcott to stay, of course, was plain from the club's new contract offer that was a raise. But we know that Wenger has a value in mind for every player, and he's unlikely to budge from what he feels is fair for Walcott, and while he'd like him to stay, he's not going to break the bank.