Theo Walcott signs new Arsenal contract

Jan Kruger

The Theo Walcott transfer saga has finally ended. And, incredibly, it's resulted in happiness for Arsenal fans: the winger will be staying at the Emirates after all. The Gunners have announced today that they've signed Walcott, 23, to a new long-term contract, quashing speculation that the England international would be sold this winter.

With 14 goals in all competitions already this season, Walcott's game has taken a huge step up and his wage demands had risen commensurately. That led to an interesting game of brinksmanship from both sides, with many experts predicting that he'd find his way to the likes of Chelsea or Manchester City.

Arsene Wenger, of course, is pleased to keep his top scorer around:

Theo is a strong player and also a great person, and the combination of his ability and pace always make him such a valuable asset either from the flanks or down the middle. Theo’s contract extension now gives us a strong nucleus of ambitious young players who have committed to the Club and want to be successful with us as a group.

It's difficult to remember a footballer having a 'contract year' like Walcott, and it remains to be seen whether or not he can keep up his form. If he can, Arsenal will have made the first step in arresting the hemorrhaging of their best talent to their rivals.

For more on Theo Walcott and the Gunners, check out The Short Fuse.

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