Theo Walcott has backed up his demands for more responsibility—and money, obviously—with some good performances in the centre of the attack. He is rumoured to be close to signing a new deal, via Metro.co.uk. Acquiring Loic Remy would change all that.
Newcastle United were the front-runners for the Marseille forward’s signature, but The Independent reported that Remy was an Arsenal fan growing up, so the appeal of the North London club will be strong.
Despite Newcastle having many French players, Arsenal also have a history of French success stories, along with the added bonus of a French manager. It’s easy to see why Remy’s head would be turned.
However, not only would the signing of Remy leave Walcott shunned and unsure of his place within the side, it would also be quite pointless.
The evidence points to Remy as a classic Wenger signing. A fast, accurate striker who makes effective runs, it’s highly likely that Remy would succeed within the Arsenal system.
Wenger would instead be better off listening to his own advice on returning players. Signing Walcott to a new deal in place of Remy would give the exact same result. A striker with pace who operates well in the box pledging his future to the club.
Leaving Walcott stranded would lose Wenger the services of a very useful player, while acquiring an unknown quantity who could yet fail spectacularly in the EPL.
Of course, this could all come to nothing, too.
Wenger isn’t exactly the most purchase-happy manager in the league, and he has already said that he won’t buy anyone unless he feels that they’re right for the team.
Signing a player without any notice at all isn’t something that Wenger would do, especially when considering the similarities between Walcott and Remy, and again when considering the delicate nature of Walcott’s contract talks.
The whole thing seems out of character, but the mere fact that it’s being suggested is damaging to Arsenal and their young striker.
There are fans of the opinion that if Walcott doesn’t like the money he’s getting at the Emirates, maybe he should move on somewhere else and try his luck, This is a valid point, but it would still be in Arsenal’s favour to retain him .
Walcott has a great deal to contribute, and he has proven his worth as an Arsenal player. Wenger should stick with him instead of sanctioning a deal likely to cost £10 million, only to end up with a player too similar to Walcott to be able to play them together.
Newcastle’s woes with Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse should serve as a valuable lesson here.
Forced to play together, the two strikers made the same runs, failed to link up with each other and create chances, resulting in a system where one succeeded and the other perished.
Following Cisse’s arrival, Ba was pushed to the left in a 4-3-3 that left him out of position and unhappy. Cisse, meanwhile, couldn’t stop scoring.
This year, Pardew attempted to play the two together in a 4-4-2 and it was Cisse that suffered. Deprived of the service he needed, he instead constantly drifted offside and looked aimless.
Ba, on the other hand, banged in goals almost every game, resulting in his move to Chelsea.
Wenger has to make a choice now, and Remy isn’t the answer.