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So after protracted negotiations over two years, Arsenal have now tied Theo Walcott down to a ‘long term’ contract.
The details if you are to believe the scribes out there are that Arsenal will pay Walcott GBP100,000 a week over the next three-and-half years making him the highest-paid player at the club.
Given the way Arsenal have been bleeding important players over the last few seasons this was a deal that the club needed beyond footballing reasons. After losing Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Robin Van Persie and Alex Song in a short space of time, failing to retain the services of their current top goalscorer would have been a disaster for the Gunners. It would have wiped the Emirates off the map as an attractive destination for top players. It is hard enough trying to attract anyone now with the dearth of trophies but with a revolving door policy for stars in place, it makes it doubly so.
The strange and sadly typical thing about Arsenal fans is that before he committed his future to the club many of them were screaming at what they termed the lack of determination by the board to tie up the deal. Now that he has signed, they are beginning to question whether he is worth the amount he will be getting and if the club would have been better off without him.
There may be some truth in the speculation surrounding the lack of leadership in the signing players. After all, what Walcott wanted six months ago is what he has signed for now. So all we have had is months of speculation only for the original deal to be signed.
The reality of it all is that it is now up to Walcott to make himself a success at the club. He needs to fulfill that potential which caused Arsene Wenger to put faith in him as a 16 year-old to bring him in from Southampton and motivated the ridiculous decision by then England manager Sven Goran Eriksson to take him to the World Cup.
There are many who doubt his ability to do so but there is every indication that the England international is relishing the responsibility of becoming the main man at the red half of North London, at least for the next three-and-a-half years.
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