Walcott wants Roma to whack him

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott says he wants to be clattered by Roma in Wednesday's Champions League last 16 second leg. The Gunners hold a slim one-goal advantage heading to the Stadio Olimpico - the setting for this year's final - against Luciano Spalletti's side, and Walcott is eager to test the strength of his shoulder having only recently returned to first-team action following a four-month layoff. The 19-year-old, who was a late substitute against Burnley on Sunday, is pushing for his first start since dislocating his right shoulder on international duty in November ahead of England's friendly against Germany in Berlin.

“As weird as it might sound, it would be really good for me if the Roma players give me a clattering," he said. "The injury feels fine but I still haven’t experienced a real whack yet.

“I’ve tried to encourage people to test it out in training, but it’s not the same as in match situations."

The former Southampton starlet also named team-mate Eduardo as his inspiration during his lengthy spell on the sidelines. The Croatian front-man has also only just returned following a year-long layoff with a broken leg and dislocated ankle.

“I’ve learned so much from watching him," he said. "He took everything in his stride and came into the club with a smile every day.

“It’s given everyone at the club a lift to have so many of our injured players coming back at such an important part of the season.”

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