BBC pundit Alan Shearer was left bemused by Theo Walcott’s display at Old Trafford, with the Premier League’s all-time highest goalscorer suggesting that the England forward’s best position remains a mystery.
While Marcus Rashford had a dream debut, scoring two goals and assisting the third, his Arsenal counterpart cut a sordid figure as the lone striker. Walcott was largely ineffective during the game, managing only 17 touches in the 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford.
After the game, pundit and Premier League legend Alan Shearer expressed his bemusement at the path Theo Walcott’s career had taken, saying that Walcott remains exactly where he was six or seven years ago.
“What I think is unfortunate is we’re still asking the same questions now as we were six or seven years ago about Theo Walcott,” Shearer said, according to the Daily Mail.
“Is he a centre forward? Is he a winger? He’s not even a regular in that Arsenal team. And we’re still asking the same questions.
“His biggest asset is his pace so he shouldn’t be going that way all the time towards the ball. He should be going the other way to ask questions of defenders.”
Despite having been a highly-rated young footballer, Theo Walcott finally made people sit up and take notice in the 2010-11 season, when he scored 13 goals in 38 appearances for Arsenal. At this stage, he was being deployed in a right-wing or right-midfield position by Arsene Wenger.
Walcott then went on to have the best season of his fledgling career in 2012-13, scoring 21 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions. In the Premier League, he was the Gunners’ top scorer that campaign, registering 14 goals and 12 assists in 32 games — most of which came when he played in a more central position.
The next two seasons were marred by injury, but the England international doesn’t seem to be making much of an impact even when fit this term. With Olivier Giroud looking like a more potent goal threat, the 26-year-old faces an uphill battle to reinvent himself at Arsenal.