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The ex-Southampton attacker has been vocal about his desire to play through the middle for the Gunners as negotiations over a contract extension continue to stall

Theo Walcott says he is still eager to earn a place leading the line for Arsenal after he scored the Gunners’ final goal in their 5-2 rout of arch-rivals Tottenham on Saturday afternoon.

The 23-year-old has been in excellent form of late, with five goals in as many games, but talks over a new contract have centred over Arsene Wenger’s deployment of the England man on the wing rather than through the middle, which is reportedly beginning to frustrate Walcott.

And while the former Southampton man admits he wants to lead the line, he is aware of the rivalry for a place in the starting XI at the Emirates Stadium, and will have to take his chance when it comes.

"I’ve always believed I was a striker," he told TalkSPORT after Saturday’s game.

"The boss gave me five minutes at the end there and I managed to grab a goal which was great. But when you’ve got someone like Olivier [Giroud] who is playing well there’s no need to change a winning team.

"My time will come, I’ve just got to be patient, but like a say, I want to play upfront, that’s my best position."

Walcott joined Arsenal from Southampton for £12 million in 2006, and has since clocked up more than 200 appearances for the north Londoners.

His current deal expires at the end of the season, and Arsene Wenger will be keen for the 23-year-old not to join the long list of talent - including star names Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri - who have all left the Emirates in recent summers.

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