Arsene Wenger admits Theo Walcott has gone through a “bad spell” at Arsenal and is unsure what the future holds for the out-of-favour forward.
Walcott has failed to start a Premier League fixture since the defeat at Manchester United in February, and has fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates following the emergence of Alex Iwobi and the return of Danny Welbeck from injury.
Reports have linked the 27-year-old with a transfer this summer, as he looks set to miss out on Roy Hodgson’s England squad for Euro 2016 due to a lack of first-team football.
When asked whether Walcott could leave the north London club, Arsenal boss Wenger replied: “I don’t know yet.
“I’m not in transfer mode at the moment but I think he has gone through a bad spell. He has responded very well, because he said ‘okay, I will work harder and more’.
“Even when he comes on now, you see he is motivated and focused. Let’s see how well he finishes the season now.”
Despite Wenger making changes for the routine 2-0 victory over West Brom on Thursday night, Walcott still only appeared for a four-minute cameo off the bench, and the Frenchman has revealed the former Southampton prodigy is one of a number of frustrated players.
“Of course. Tonight you have seen the team,” he said when asked if he could understand Walcott’s frustration at not playing much.
“You have the emergence of a guy like Iwobi. But the players that did not play: Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and I forget a few that weren’t even in the squad.
“All these players will be frustrated, or the guys who go out will be frustrated. Welbeck didn’t play, Campbell didn’t play.”