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Arsenal's Theo Walcott wants England front role if Wayne Rooney is unfit

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Wayne Rooney's potential absence could provide Theo Walcott an opportunity he would relish

Theo Walcott is desperate to lead the line for England's European Qualifier against Estonia on Friday if Wayne Rooney is unavailable.

Rooney, England's record goalscorer, remains doubtful for the final qualification match at Wembley after missing a second successive training session because of an ankle injury.

While Walcott feels the Manchester United striker might still recover in time, he believes the fans would be happy to see him take Rooney's place for the night.

"Being Wayne he always wants to represent his country," the Arsenal forward said.

"If he can't - and he's obviously got a little knock, we'll know tomorrow [Thursday] if he's able to train - the manager will make the decision. Playing there [up front] for England, that's what I want to do.

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"You want to represent your country and I know everyone would like to see me up front, but whether it's on the left or right... there's an opportunity there definitely."

Meanwhile, the 26-year-old is more than willing to put an arm around Tottenham teenager Dele Alli, who has been called up for the first time after impressing Roy Hodgson with his early-season performances in midfield for Spurs.

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It is nine years since Walcott was a surprise inclusion in the 2006 World Cup squad and he knows all too well what it feels like to be involved with the national side from a young age.

Dele Alli during an England training session at St Georges Park
Image: Dele Alli during England's training session on Wednesday

Walcott said of Alli: "Seeing him for the first time in the flesh, he's a big lad. He's very classy on the ball and he's only 19 so he's got a long England career ahead of him, and with Tottenham as well.

"He's in the spotlight straight away. I'm always there for him as I obviously was in the England squad at the early age of 17. I've been through it so he's always got plenty of people here to talk to.

"Looking at him, he's the sort of player who'd be able to deal with anything."

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