In eight Premier League games this season Theo Walcott has scored five goals, matching his tally for each of his previous three Arsenal campaigns.
After years of indecision over his best position, Walcott opted to return to the right-wing this season. That is an area of the field where Arsene Wenger has as many as eight bodies to choose from, be they natural wingers or capable fill-ins.
It is that competition for a starting gig that the Gunners man credits for his sharp start. Wenger believes his long-term project is finally becoming more resilient, while others insist Olivier Giroud’s prolonged absence affords the England star more chances.
Whatever the reason for Walcott’s goal-scoring form, it’s working.
The former Southampton youth is taking more shots per 90 minutes in the league this season than all bar one campaign in his career.
That 2014/15 term, when Walcott took baby steps back to full fitness after rupturing knee ligaments against Tottenham and played just over 400 minutes, is also the only one in Walcott’s ledger that betters his current shots-on-target-per-90 tally.
It’s easy to forget, given that this is his 11th season in north London and he’s won 46 England caps, that Walcott is only 27-years-old.
Could it be that this is simply a footballer entering his prime and playing with the decisive confidence that such a transition brings?
Perhaps only time will tell, but in his current form Walcott’s career-best tally of 14 league goals certainly looks under threat.
Maybe he’ll even scoop Golden Boot honours? He currently sits two goals behind Diego Costa in third and we make him a 20/1 chance to land the gong.
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