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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Walcott believes in Arsenal

Theo Walcott claims he penned a new contract at Arsenal because he wants to repay the club and help them to land major silverware.

Last Updated: 20/04/13 at 11:59 Post Comment

Theo Walcott: Says he never considered leaving Arsenal as a free agent

Theo Walcott: Says he never considered leaving Arsenal as a free agent

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Speculation regarding the forward's future reached fever pitch during the early stages of the 2012/13 campaign, with there an apparent reluctance on his part to put fresh terms in place.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger made numerous public announcements stating his desire to see Walcott commit to a long-term deal.

The 24-year-old international insists he never contemplated leaving and claims a delay in putting pen to paper was down to him making absolutely sure that everything was right - on and off the field.

Walcott told The Times: "People now can surely see it didn't revolve entirely around money. I could have hung on and walked out for nothing and who knows what I could have made then? My agent might know, but he never told me and I never asked. I just wanted to be in the team, playing well.

"I always said I wanted to stay. I know what I owed to Arsenal and to the manager, getting me when I was 16. I did want to replay the club. Others might say that and not believe it, but I do.

"When a club and a manager have shown interest in you at such a young age, when you've done next to nothing in the game, and they've helped you reach the top level, helped you develop and work around top players, you don't lightly walk away from that.

"I wanted to stay because I still think this club can go on to achieve something. It's 'when' and not 'if' we win something.

"If anything came out of it all, I think it's a bit more respect between me and the manager. We've shown faith in each other and I feel there is a bit more responsibility on me to create something out of nothing."

Experience

With his future having been resolved, Walcott is now focused on Arsenal's efforts to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League and a UEFA Champions League spot.

On a battle which sees the Gunners going toe-to-toe with north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, the England international added: "I think because we've had the experience of doing it at the death and Tottenham have a history of phasing out, we have the upper-hand, definitely, the experience of coping with the pressure of it.

"Losing at their place was obviously a blow, but we've bounced back from that and when you've expected them to win and they don't, that has to make you wonder about how much they want it."

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