Arsenal Transfer News: Club Would Be Wise to Keep Theo Walcott Through January

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29:  Theo Walcott of Arsenal in kicks the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on December 29, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Theo Walcott has proven himself lately for Arsenal, and the club would be wise to keep him on board once the transfer window opens on January 1.

According to The Observer reporter Paul Doyle, that's exactly what Gunners boss Arsene Wenger plans to do:

Arsène Wenger insists that there is no chance of Theo Walcott leaving Arsenal in January.

"I rule it out," the manager said emphatically when asked if Walcott would be sold when the transfer window opens in order to prevent him leaving for free when his contract expires in the summer.

It's not like Walcott hasn't shown his talent before, but his hat trick on Saturday versus Newcastle really opened people's eyes. He dazzled fans with his performance, even picking up two assists in the process.

There's never been any doubt that Walcott is a capable player, but he's failed to put it all together most of the time. However, he's already matched the goal total that he put up in the English Premier League last season, showing Wenger and Co. that he may finally have a few things figured out.

Giving him away at this point just wouldn't make sense. He's going to command a fair amount of cash from the right club because of his offensive talents, but those skills will benefit the Gunners' attack as well.

Arsenal's offense hasn't necessarily been terrible this season, but it's not ready to lose its leading scorer. With 39 goals in 19 games, Wenger needs all the firepower he can get. Otherwise he will be relying on Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud to put the ball in the net.

Walcott's stock is starting to soar. He can benefit Arsenal now, and the Gunners could command more money for him later on. Either way, it's a win-win situation for Wenger at this point.

Arsenal will have trouble challenging the EPL's top contenders this season, but losing Walcott would make that nearly impossible. He's taken his game to new heights, and his confidence has never been higher than it is right now.

The Gunners must cash in on that by keeping him in their colors for the time being.