Theo Walcott’s injury during the 2-0 home victory against North London rivals Tottenham in the FA cup is a shock not just for the Gunners, but for The England national team and thousands of football fans worldwide. He has had a turbulent season to say the least, where he had already spent two months in the sidelines due to an abdominal injury he picked up in late August. But in the 11 games that he has played, he has scored 6 goals created 4, and a played with such electrifying pace and flair will definitely be missed by Arsenal for the remainder of the season and subsequently by England in June. But his injury has suddenly opened up a spot in the plane to Brazil, and there are several players who will believe they have a fighting chance to be on it.
This makes the remainder of the season very important, particularly for Andros Townsend and Raheem Sterling, who seem to be the major contenders to take Walcott’s place. Townsend, who may already have booked his place in the England squad, is definitely now a possible starter/first choice utility player for England owing to his eye catching displays in the world cup qualifiers. Sterling on the other hand, maybe would not have been selected if Walcott were available. Things are now different, and Hodgson will definitely be keeping tabs on his performances for Liverpool as they make their push in the title race this season. Other names being tossed into the fray include Nathan Redmond, Wilfred Zaha and Tom Ince but none of them have enough premier league experience and England will be needing experienced players with cool heads in what is already a nightmarish Group D. Alex Oxdale-Chamberlain, who has returned to training recently after recovering from his own knee problems, may well turn out to be the dark horse in this race for selection as Walcott’s injury lay-off will provide the Ox with the opportunities to warrant an inclusion to the England Squad.
This injury will however, affect the Gunners and their performances if Wenger does not counteract. While Arsenal have performed remarkably in the first half of the season to stay top of the Premier League, their squad has been severely affected by the unavailability of first team regulars due to injury. And with the Champions League also coming up in February, Arsene Wenger must move quickly to provide some much needed depth to the squad. Atletico forward Diego Costa and Former Chelsea Striker Salomon Kalou are two names being linked with the Gunners and it remains to be seen if Arsenal will approach the transfer market with the same sense of adventure as they did in the summer which resulted in the capture of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid in the summer. But the biggest loser of the Walcott injury is undoubtedly Theo Walcott himself, who has yet to play at the World Cup Finals but he must come back from this stronger, for that is what we all want to see, a fully fit Theo Walcott tormenting defenders once again in Red and in White.