Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has reaffirmed his belief that forward Theo Walcott will stay at the club after playing a key role in Saturday’s 4-0 FA Cup final win over Aston Villa.
Walcott was named in favour of long-time first-choice striker Oliver Giroud and made the most of his chance by scoring Arsenal’s opener five minutes before half-time.
With just 12 months remaining on the 26-year-old’s contract, there is still doubt about his future at the Emirates Stadium, but Wenger remains confident.
“I don’t see why he should not be here next season,” said Wenger after lifting the FA Cup for a second successive year.
“He’s a player who was out for a year, January to January – it took him a while to get back to his best.
“He’s now at an age where it’s very interesting. He has experience, he’s at his peak physically. It’s a time to stay with us.”
Talking more broadly about the club’s transfer plans and hopes for next season, Wenger was again in bullish mood.
“We have some time now to prepare. We have a good confidence level, let’s show we can be intelligent in the summer. Of course we can push on, why not?
“We don’t know how good the other teams will be. It is about consistency at the top level, we’ve shown signs of consistency.
“When you have a good confidence level and the quality you can be consistent.”
While the Frenchman is never keen to look back on past achievements, he did briefly reflect on an astonishing sixth FA Cup win for him and a record 12th for the club.
“I’m very proud of that [the 12th cup win] because, if it has not been done, it shows that it’s not easy,” he said.
“All of us want to achieve things that are difficult. For the club it’s great because we won it 12 times… more than any other club.”
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