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Basel 19:45 Arsenal

Walcott raring to go

By Peter ORourke.   Last Updated: 08/07/07 2:27pm

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Theo Walcott believes he can fill the void left by the departure of Thierry Henry from Arsenal.

The 18-year-old's campaign last term was blighted by a shoulder injury which forced him to miss last month's Under 21 European Championship.

The jet-heeled striker is now fully recovered from his shoulder injury and is keen to prove himself at Emirates Stadium.

"The shoulder is absolutely fine," said Walcott. "I have about 85 per cent of full movement at the moment but I have started training as normal.

"Myself and Robin van Persie started two weeks early."

The former Southampton youngster has set himself a goal target of ten next season as he looks to establish himself as a regular in Arsene Wenger's plans.

"I want to get 10 goals next season and I would like to make 20 or 25 starts," added Walcott.

"Basically, I want to improve every year. I know I'm quite a high-profile player, but I'm just 18, so all I want to do is work hard and try to get more starts for the first team."

Meanwhile, five of Arsenal's youngsters have signed professional terms at the club.

Rui Fonte, Paul Rodgers, Jay Simpson, Nacer Barazite and Wojciech Szczesny have all done enough to earn contracts with The Gunners.

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