Arsene Wenger rules out Theo Walcott central role

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger hugs goalscorer Theo Walcott as he comes off at Reading on December 17, 2012
© AP Photos
Arsene Wenger says that playing Theo Walcott on the wing gives Arsenal security.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he will not play Theo Walcott as a striker despite him netting the winner against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

The England international scored his 20th goal of the season inside 21 seconds at Loftus Road to give the Gunners a vital 1-0 win at the weekend.

The 24-year-old has made no secret about his desire to lead the line for the North Londoners, but Wenger sees no harm in continuing to play Walcott on the wing.

"He finished in the middle," Wenger said. "I use him on the flank because I try to put a player in the middle who can score goals and having another player on the flank who can score it gives you a little bit of security.

"[Walcott] is more mature in his finishing. His goal was similar to the one he scored against Manchester United. It's a short back lift. He makes good runs and he is calm now in front of goal.

"When he arrived [from Southampton], in front of goal the ball could go anywhere. Now you see every time he hits the target, he is forcing the keeper into a save. That's why his numbers are so much better."

Arsenal's next game is at home to Wigan Athletic in eight days' time.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger before the match against Bayern Munich on March 13, 2013
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