Walcott: There are worse things than leaving Arsenal

The England international admits to being frustrated after being promised a central role by Arsene Wenger, but is hoping terms can be agreed to keep him in north London
Theo Walcott has stated that there are worse things than leaving Arsenal, with his current contract situation still unresolved.

The England international is currently in a delicate situation with the Gunners, with less than a year to run on his current contract, and although he admits that he is not sure whether it is affecting his time on the pitch, he says he would be disappointed if he had to leave the club.

"You'd have to ask the manager [if the contract situation is affecting time on the pitch]," he told Sky Sports.

The midfielder will play for the reserves on Monday as he nears a first-team comeback
"I've justified what I've done last year with the amount of assists I set up for Robin [van Persie], and 11 goals as a winger is not bad at all. I've stayed fit throughout the whole season, but that's one for the manager to answer to be honest.

"You know, if [I left] I would be disappointed because I want to stay, I've never said I wanted to go. But if it did happen, I'd be disappointed - but you just have to get on with it.

"There's worse things in the world, trust me. I wouldn't worry about that, but hopefully it won't come to that, and hopefully something can be agreed.

"You don't want that monkey on your back of being a player who's just about the money, because that's not about me. I'm not interested in that at all. I've worked very hard to get to where I am and I'm very lucky.

"I've got a great team and manager behind me as well. People have always looked out for me, and I just want to repay them. That's my next step. Being 23, I want to get back in the England team as well. So it's a massive year for me, and I think I'm ready for it as well.

"During the summer, it's horrible. You ask any player during the transfer window, it's horrible, especially when you don't want to go anywhere. It can be out of your hands completely."

Walcott has been confined to a bit-part role so far this season, despite netting 11 goals last year from the wing, and he admits that seeing the likes of Gervinho start ahead of him in a striker's role is frustrating after being promised a chance to play centrally by Arsene Wenger.

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He added: "I'm only 23, I think a lot of people tend to forget that. I'm only 23, I've got 30 caps for England, and I play in a position I've learned over the years.

"I signed as a striker, I want to play as a striker. And hopefully people will start to associate me with that. I believe I can do it. I've always had that belief. My family believe in me as well, you know - my team-mates - everyone believes in me.

"[Wenger] has promised me that as well, that he'll play me up front. It's just taking action now. I think it's important because I've been promised to play up front and it hasn't happened.

"I'm desperate to play up front, I think I've justified playing up front now. I just want to show people what I can do."

The England international also praised the new assistant manager Steve Bould for bringing a "scare-factor" back to the club and added that he is happy with the "serious" attitude shown by the team.

He continued: "He's brought that sort of 'scare-factor' a little bit as well. He's good to have a little joke around as well, but when it gets to the serious stuff he's great.

"There's something about Bouldy and that team he was in - the defenders were just ridiculously good.

"We're starting to be that. We have the likes of [Thomas] Vermaelen, who had a little illness, [Laurent] Koscielny, who has come in and done a great job. So we've got great players coming in for other great players."