Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Theo Walcott deserves a new deal at the club after admitting that he has been impressed with his professionalism despite his contractual dispute.
The club strengthened heavily in the summer after the departure of leading man Robin van Persie, bringing in Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla, but Wenger is still keen to sort out a fresh deal for Walcott after his recent form in front of goal.
"I want to keep him, and I think aside from the contract talks, you have to give him credit for the way he is committed to the team, and for the way he behaves," Wenger told reporters. "There is urgency [in resolving his future]. I want it resolved by Christmas."
The England international struck for a fabulous hat trick in Arsenal's 7-5 Capital One Cup victory against Reading, and Wenger lauded Walcott's ability to play as a striker, an issue seen as a stumbling block towards any progress over talks involving a new deal.
"I always said he will be striker," Wenger said. "He's a good finisher now. He knows where to be on the rebounds. That is the quality of a striker you can’t give to someone, they either have it or they don't."
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- Santi Cazorla
- Lukas Podolski
- Olivier Giroud