As several storylines continue to unfold at Arsenal, there’s one man who’s been quietly going about his business – someone who finally looks to have come of age.
And while Alexis Sanchez has been grabbing the headlines for his performances on the pitch and stalls in contract talks off it, there’s certainly a case to be made for this man being named Player of the Year at the Emirates.
Still wondering who we’re talking about?
Step forward, Theo Walcott.
For the second time this season, the 28-year-old found himself on the scoresheet against Manchester City, taking his tally for the season to nine in the Premier League and 18 in all competitions.
By our reckoning, that puts the former Southampton youth product on course for this to be his most prolific campaign in front of goal in an Arsenal shirt.
There’s been some pretty important strikes in there too. Yesterday’s equaliser against City, the opener against Liverpool in the first game of the season, a nerve-settler in the Gunners’ 3-0 win over Chelsea, a hat-trick against Southampton – not to mention a milestone 100th goal for the club.
On the whole, while his team have struggled for much of the season, Walcott has established himself on the right-hand side of Arsene Wenger’s front three.
That’s a position where the England international has looked somewhat lost in recent years, when he was more interested in becoming an out-and-out striker.
But having now compromised and settled for a place on the wing, Theo is now one away from reaching double figures in the Prem for just the second time in 11 full seasons for the North London outfit.
The way things have gone at the Emirates so far, you’d have to say Walcott’s campaign has probably been one of the only positives fans can speak of.
For all Sanchez’s influence on this team, the fact his future still remains very much up in the air is a worry to Gooners.
Despite recording a staggering 19 assists in the top-flight last campaign, Mesut Ozil has been largely disappointing since the opening three weeks of the campaign.
And for the first time under Wenger, Arsenal’s hopes of securing a Champions League place are seriously under threat – with the Gunners currently down in sixth – some seven points off the leading quartet in the division.
But amidst all of that, Walcott is continuing to impress, and his fan base seems to be growing with every game.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing