When Theo Walcott signed from Southampton for £10m eleven years ago, he was tipped to achieve big things in the future. His subsequent selection for the England World Cup 2006 team had elevated his status as the most promising teenager in English football at that time. A return of 104 goals in 383 appearances in an Arsenal shirt, mostly from wide positions, is a respectable figure. But the fact remains that he is no more than a bit part player at the club right now. Numerous injuries the player suffered during his long time at Arsenal had a role to play, but again, the ability to keep themselves fit is an important quality of great players. He did reach the milestone of hundred goals by scoring the second goal in a FA cup fixture against Sutton United last season. However, his presence in the pitch in that match itself is a testimony to the fact that he has become a fringe player, consigned to start against lesser oppositions in cup competitions. It is now clear that Walcott is not even close to equaling the likes of Thierry Henry, as once prophesied, and his Arsenal career draws towards an unceremonious end.

The last season was definitely a successful season in terms of goals scored, but there is a lingering feeling that it is not enough. The perceived inability of the player to create chances for himself, and his teammates is frustrating. It took ten years for the player to convince himself that his role is not through the centre, but on the right. However, in the likes of Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Arsenal has better claimants to that position who are superior to Walcott in all aspects of the game that position demands, be it the ability to dribble or deliver crosses. If rumors are to be believed, Arsenal might yet sign upgrades in that position, especially Riyad Mahrez from Leicester City, further reducing the Walcott's game time.

Despite his goal scoring exploits in the first half of the last season, the tactical switch to 3-4-3 towards the later half made Walcott more or less redundant, and he struggled to get game time. Now it looks like the 3-4-3 formation is here to stay, and Walcott has little chance of making into the first team in this system. His lack of defensive work rate means he is not suitable to play in the right wing back position, especially when Arsenal has the likes of Ox and Bellerin. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, assuming they would both stay, are the players who would be playing behind the striker, and Walcott definitely does not have the ability to usurp the roles from those two players who are far superior to him in terms of technical ability. This consigns Walcott to a few substitute appearances off the bench, which do not justify the 140k a week wages that Arsenal pays for his services. Perhaps it is time for Walcott to move on in search of first team opportunities elsewhere.

Should Wenger decide to sell, Walcott will find no dearth of suitors in the premier league for his signature. Still only 28, he has plenty to offer in the attack, at least for a few good years and the likes of Liverpool or West Ham can be a possible destination. Most importantly, unlike Alexis Sanchez, he has enough time left in his contract to ensure a good price in the transfer market. Moreover, his rich experience in the top flight will also be valued by potential buyers. He will definitely command a respectable transfer fee upwards of $25 million, a thing Wenger can definitely use while trying to balance his books in the middle of a spending spree. His homegrown status will make his signature even more attractive. As things stand, Walcott is currently the third highest earner in the club, just behind Ozil and Alexis, and selling him will definitely free up sizeable amount of funds from Arsenal's wage bill which can be reinvested elsewhere.

It's time that Arsenal stops clinging to failed experiments of the past, and concentrates on the present. While it's clear that Walcott is not going to be the next Ian Wright or Thierry Henry, keeping him in the team impedes the development of other deserving players in the team, such as Alex Oxlade Chamberlain. Ox is younger, better and last season, he has shown promises to do what Walcott couldn't. Selling Walcott will free up some more minutes for the Ox on the right wing, and it will definitely help in persuading the player to stay.

Therefore, it makes perfect economic as well as footballing sense to cash in on a player whose transfer value and physical ability can only diminish from here, having never reached a peak. It is known that Wenger backs his players way too much, but in this case he has to overcome emotions, and take a decision which will be in the interest of both the player and the club. Walcott should also think about the options at his disposal which might yet inject new life into his stagnant career. It's a world cup year, and the competition for a place in the England team is very high these days. If Walcott wants to stand even a remote chance of making it to Russia, he needs to play week in week out and score lots of goals, which he is unlikely to do at Arsenal. Therefore, it's in the interest of both parties to part ways after eleven years of romance.