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  • dsteer_lfc_68 dsteer_lfc_68 Feb 17, 2012 19:00 Flag

    Walcott... Thoughts?

    Theo would tick a lot of the right boxes for us. He's young (22) very pacey, plays down the right where we need a longer term replacement for Kuyt, and is English, so think we might be interested. His main problem is a lack of consistency, although I felt of the few Arsenal games I've seen this year, that he was getting better. Seems to me his main fault is not a lack of ability but decision making, especially with his final ball. But that instinctive knowledge is often the last piece of the puzzle for most developing footballers, and at 22 its way to early to say he can't get any better (just like Carroll btw).

    But it comes down to cost. I understand he's only got the 18 months left so its decision time for Arsenal on whether to give him a new contract or realize value for him in the transfer market.. Considering they maybe forced to re-build this summer if RVP leaves, I'm not sure they'd want to let him go unless he holds out for a bigger contract. Another factor is if Arsenal make top 4 or not. If they do then they can afford to give him a new deal (or let him go and shop for a replacement) but if they don't then I think they'll hold him to his contract for at least the first half of the season.

    So the question is how much would he cost us. IMO we need to bring someone in who can play on the right flank. We may get at least one more good year out of Kuyt but we need someone who can give him real competition, and be a longer term quality replacement. But we have other needs as well (left flank needs re-enforcing as Maxi is likely to move on, Bellamy has been great but at 32 won't last much longer, and Downing has yet imo shown the quality as a regular starter). And of course there are the calls for Cavani who maybe great, but would take up a significant portion of a transfer budget.

    So bottom line, if he's available and it did not stop us from going for other targets then I'd say we go for him. But he's not someone I'd put top of our list for this summer.

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    • To be honest with you I am more concerned with cover for the defensive midfield role then anything else right now. We seemed to have an abundance of midfielders just before the season kicked off then the Meireles jumped ship last minute and we just looked ok. When Lucas got injured I thought it was a loss but we would get over it but we really havent. Spearing is ok but he is slow, lacking in passing quality and lacks presence. Nobody else can fill the void with any conviction. If I was to make a number 1 target right now for us it would be a specialst, young holding player, I dont know who but we need one!

      I know I have swayed off topic so getting back to where we started. I think we are really on a knife edge this season, we are at the point where we have a strong youthful core and are just needing a couple (Isnt it always the way?!) of 'jewel in the crown' style players to push us over the edge in games we are controlling but cant find the breakthrough. Those players that we are needing now are only looking for Champions league football so its a bit of a catch 22.

      To be honest with you I think its more a creative wide player that we need, somebody versatile and unpredictable who can thread a pass and add a few goals here and there. Pace would be a lovely addition to those requirements and Hazard ticks every box but, as you say, he seems to know he can pick his club and his wage package! Chelsea have Mata, City have Silva so we kind of need somebody of that ilk. Walcott to be fair is quick and versatile and gets his fair share of assists, albeit to the leagues best finisher! I think he would be a good addition but not 'the' addition.

      • 3 Replies to Hobsey
      • You've got a good point on the defensive midfield gap, even if that is a side bar for this tread. I actually think we were better placed to handle the absence of Gerrard in the first half of the season, than we have to missing Lucas in the second half. Maybe Jay can grow into that role, but right now its a big gap.

        I'd also agree Walcott is not "the" player we need. However at the right price, and I'm thinking more in terms not of absolute cost, but priority of other signings we may need, I think Walcott maybe worth a punt.

        I was down on Downing last week after his no show at OT, but have to admit he had a fine outing against Brighton,. He brings real pace, and the ability to whip in the ball, and if we had that same threat down the right side, I think it makes us a better side. It's not the final piece of the puzzle but could be another piece that helps build the big picture we're looking for.

      • I agree Hobitez

        Central midfield in the modern game is more critical than ever. Dominate here and things will start to happen. We need someone who can get hold of a game and dictate it. They then bring others into the game and everything starts to look a little rosier. Lucas (despite my previous reservations about him) is a huge lost but still isn't the player I'm talking about. Almost every successful side (including us) has had this monster in central midfield. Souness, Viera, Keane etc. Not players who break up play etc. but players who basically say "everything happens through me".

        Oh how we miss Alonso! Then Walcott might even start to look good.

      • Hazard would be a great player for us.. However Man Utd are after him too.. chances are he'll go there than here...

    • I think I would prefer Nathan Dyer, Scott Sinclair and Junior Hoylett to be on our summer shopping list, unless he's going for stupidly cheap money. In saying that, maybe a change is what he needs, but as I understand it, he prefers playing through the middle, and I for one have had enough of square pegs in round holes to last a goddam lifetime!