Wenger to wing it with Theo
By Rob Lancaster
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Arsene Wenger will let Theo Walcott develop out on the flanks for the next few years.
Arsene Wenger insists he is happy to let Theo Walcott develop out on the wing for the next few years.
The teenager played on the right flank for Arsenal in their 2-0 Carling Cup win over West Brom on Tuesday night.
He set up Jeremie Aliadiere for The Gunners' second goal and also came close to adding a third in the final few minutes.
Walcott's display certainly pleased his manager, and Wenger believes it is in the player's best interests to play out wide to start with before moving up front in a year or two.
"When you have a player like Theo, it is important to let him develop on the wing," he said.
"He has to learn how to dribble and gain confidence in attacking people in one-on-one situations.
"Then, in a year or two he can move into the middle and use those abilities to do a better job."
The match at The Hawthorns also saw Aliadiere give a timely reminder of his abilities with both goals in the victory.
Wenger feels the French forward - who spent much of last season on loan at Wolves - can make an impact at Highbury, providing he can stay fit.
"Jeremie has had consistent problems with injury," The Gunners boss said.
"Every time he got close to the first-team he got another one.
"This is the first time since I have had him that he has got through the beginning of the season and not been bothered by a problem. Now we can see what a good player he is."