Walcott keen to stay a Gunner

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has hinted he is ready to commit his future to the Gunners.

The 20-year-old star is in talks about extending his deal, which is due to run out in summer 2010.

Walcott has become a key member of Arsene Wenger’s side this season despite missing four months with a shoulder injury and is also a first-choice pick for England coach Fabio Capello.

Walcott told the Daily Mail: “I’ll let my agents deal with the contract situation and just get on with playing.

“But I do look around and think what a great team this is. We’ve got a great squad and some great talents. Some of the things Robin (van Persie) and Eduardo do in training are just ridiculous.

“There are so many examples of players who have developed into great players under our manager, Thierry (Henry) for a start, and I want to be one of them.”

Walcott really announced himself on the international stage with a hat-trick in the 4-1 World Cup qualifying win over Croatia earlier this season but he is hoping to return to under-21 level this summer for the European Championships in Sweden.

“For me, playing for England at any age is an honour,” the former Southampton youngster continued. “And while it’s ultimately up to the managers to decide, I think I probably will play.

“In my opinion it would be good experience to play in a tournament because I haven’t really had that. It’s good experience for young players if they can win something as well.”

The shoulder injury, suffered while training with England, put the brakes on Walcott’s season but he believes the extra gym work that was part of his recovery has made him a better – and faster – player.

“Now my sprinting action is much better,” he added. “I’m more balanced when it comes to using my arms. I was a bit of a lightweight before.

“That was part of the problem. I’m more powerful now and much better equipped to deal with the physical demands of the game.”

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