Loyal servant to ice Wenger’s Arsenal birthday cake at Burnley
Arsene Wenger will step out at Turf Moor on Sunday celebrating 20 years service as Arsenal’s manager and aptly enough, it’s the the Frenchman’s longest-serving player who arrives in exceptional form.
Plucked from Southampton as a sprightly 16-year-old winger, a decade later Theo Walcott is still a Gunner, still just about a winger and, proving that Wenger has been wise to keep his man in north London despite plenty of speculation linking him to moves away in recent transfer windows.
Having overcome an injury-plagued couple of campaigns and an on-pitch identity crisis, Walcott is back with a serious bang in 2016/17.
Pleas to be reinstated on the right side of Arsenal’s attack were duly listened to and the result has been a raft of goals.
Two midweek strikes in the Champions League took his tally to five in seven all competition appearances and four in his past three.
If Wenger is looking to any one of his charges to breach a rigid Burnley backline that has only yielded two goals in four league games at Turf Moor this term, then there isn’t a primer candidate than Walcott.
The nature of his brace-bagging effort against Basel, which was taken on from a sharp angle and without a second thought, was indicative of a forward worth backing to do as much.
The 5/1 about the Gunners’ stalwart drawing first blood is not to be sniffed at, nor in the kind of fettle he’s in is the 7/4 surrounding a goal at any point in Lancashire.
Along the same lines, there seems to be merit in the Walcott wincast at 11/5, a wager that has coughed up for three straight Arsenal games featuring the former Saint.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing