Arsene Wenger: I always wanted to keep Theo Walcott

Arsene Wenger never contemplated selling Theo Walcott in the summer despite the England international playing a bit part at Arsenal last season.

Theo Walcott celebrates scoring against Swansea City. Picture: Getty

Walcott started just 15 league games and scored five goals – he has already matched that goal tally this term following his brace in Saturday’s win over Swansea.

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The 27-year-old has been in scintillating form and is now one of the first names on Wenger’s teamsheet, 
something that could earn him a rest for tonight’s 
Champions League visit of Ludogorets.

Asked about any interest in the player over the summer, the Frenchman said: “Look, I haven’t spoken to anybody because I was not ready to let him go. I always wanted to keep him. What I’ve seen of him is that he lets the passion for the game come out of his body. That’s what you want from him.”

The Gunners have won their last six games in all competitions and face a Champions League double-header against Ludogorets, knowing two wins over the Bulgarian champions will all but secure their safe passage into the knockout stage.