Age – 20
Team – Arsenal
Nationality – English
International Caps – 8
After a relatively decent 2007/08 season, expectations at Arsenal were high for Theo Walcott in what many hoped would be his breakthrough season in 2008. The club clearly signalled the standards they expected Walcott to meet after assigning him former star Thierry Henry’s number 14 shirt.
However, it took Walcott until the 18th October before he opened his goalscoring account for the season in an impressive 3-1 victory over Everton. The win was much needed at the time as the club had suffered a disappointing start to the season with defeats to Fulham and Hull. Unfortunately, just as the pacey forward had started to come into form he dislocated his shoulder whilst on international duty putting him out for three months.
Walcott’s next appearance in the Premiership was on the 14th March against Blackburn where his first contribution was to drill a low cross against the back of defender Andre Ooijer to give him a quick fire assist. The speedy winger seemed to benefit from his injury time out during the latter stages of the season as he produced some of his best football including running the length of the pitch before setting up Andrei Arshavin in the 4-4 draw with Liverpool.
The beginning of the 08/09 season saw Walcott burst onto the International scene. A promising debut in the home match against Andorra saw the winger selected for the crunch qualification game in Croatia. It was here that Walcott made a name for himself worldwide with a stunning hat-trick to lead England to a fantastic 4-1 victory. However, Walcott’s performances of late have been less noticable with some stating that the Arsenal man is too one dimensional.
Nevertheless, a rest was the least of Walcott’s concerns as he jetted off to Sweden in a bid to help the England U21’s win the European Championships. He was included in the squad as one of three strikers but was subbed at half time in the first match after a disappointing performance. As a result, Walcott began the next game on the bench but came on as a substitute and produced an assist to help England beat Spain 2-0. In the semi finals Walcott scored a penalty in the shoot out as England progressed to the final. However, suspensions to strikers Gabriel Agbonlahor and Frazier Campbell meant Walcott was the lone striker in the 4-0 final defeat to Germany where he was left horribly isolated up front.
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