• Premier League

Walcott braced for Arsenal return

ESPN staff
November 21, 2013
Theo Walcott will return to Arsenal's squad to face Southampton © Getty Images

Theo Walcott is set to spring back into action on Saturday, with former club Southampton in his sights as he returns from an abdominal injury.

Walcott has not played since picking up the injury mid-September, with his last appearance for the Premier League leaders coming in the opening Champions League tie against Marseille.

The winger has used the recent international break to fine tune his fitness, with manager Arsene Wenger hoping the injection of pace he will provide for Arsenal can give them an extra dimension as they look to hold onto their advantage at the top of the table.

"Theo will be back for Saturday and he's completely fit again," Wenger told Arsenal's official website. "He has not played for a long time, of course, he has not played even a reserve team game, but I will put him in the squad on Saturday.

"Theo has different qualities to other players and I am very pleased that he's back. He is one of the players who goes behind [the defence] without the ball. Strikers who get behind the defenders are a very important quality and Theo has that quality.

"Of course you miss a player like Theo Walcott. Theo had a good start to the season, he scored goals, he provided chances and had assists. He can always give you a different option in the game and that is of course vital.

"You always want to have a perfect balance and if you look at our results our balance was not too bad."

Lukas Podolski is still three weeks from a possible comeback, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a further week behind that in his bid to return to action.

Download ESPN's new UK sport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close