Skip to main content

Henry hails Walcott's striking transformation

Thierry Henry believes Theo Walcott's emergence as a centre-forward means Arsenal no longer need to strengthen up front.

Walcott has been Arsene Wenger's preferred choice to play in the traditional number nine role for Arsenal this season, rewarding his manager with five goals in all competitions.

The England man has regularly won the nod over Olivier Giroud in attack, although his team-mate is now experiencing a strong run of his own with five goals in the past four games for Arsenal and France.

Henry told Sky Sports: "I was saying that maybe they needed a striker in the summer to help out, but Theo Walcott has emerged as that striker."

"He is playing ever so well. Now there is competition for the number nine role - Giroud is no longer on his own as the striker.

"When Walcott is playing, he's doing his job. When Giroud is playing, he's doing his job."

Arsenal are level on points with Premier League leaders Manchester City and Henry – the club's all-time leading goalscorer - drew comparisons between the current squad and the decorated one he was part, winning the Premier League twice and the FA Cup three times between 2002 and 2005 

He said: "What it does is bring a healthy competition. When I used to play for Arsenal, I knew I had only 60 minutes to perform because there was Dennis Bergkamp, Nwankwo Kanu or Sylvain Wiltord on the bench. I knew I had to perform."

Henry highlighted the varying nature of recent wins over Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Everton as evidence that Arsenal could go on to claim their first Premier League title in 11 years.

"The performances against Manchester United and Bayern Munich were great, then they showed they can do it on a daily basis against Everton," he added.

"It wasn't flamboyant Arsenal, but they still managed to win the game. Can they win the league? I think they can."