England manager Fabio Capello has revealed that he believes Arsenal’s Theo Walcott is the Three Lions’ brightest talent.
The teenage Walcott is set to play no part in England’s friendly against Spain next week after dislocating his shoulder almost three months ago.
Although the 19-year-old is close to a return to action, the friendly comes too soon for him and means Capello will be without the young Gunner.
However, according to The Sun, Capello, speaking at the LMA (League Managers Association) President’s dinner in London, revealed just how highly he rated the youngster.
“Theo Walcott is our best talent. He has impressed me very much,” said the Italian. “He was not always playing for his club and sometimes only came on at half-time but, though he was so young, he played without fear.”
Walcott’s international career began in surprise style after he was, somewhat controversially, selected for World Cup 2006 by manager Sven Goran Eriksson despite never having featured in the Premier League for Arsenal.
Despite not making it onto the pitch in the tournament, Walcott has gone on to establish himself in the Arsenal first team and has also made a name for himself in the international set-up. The highlight of his international career to date was hitting a hat trick against Croatia in World Cup Qualifying in September.
Whilst England will have to make do without the Arsenal star next week, Capello also admitted he was looking forward to taking Spain, who, he believes, are currently the best team in the world.
“For the team they have, with their age and level of confidence Spain are best,” said Capello. “Then it’s Argentina, Brazil, Italy, the usual.”
Capello has revived England’s fortune since taking over from Steve McClaren and he admitted that playing the European Champions would reveal much about how good his current England team were.
“I’m looking forward to playing in Seville, it’s going to be very special,” he explained. “We are very happy to be facing the champions of Europe. We will see at what level we find ourselves.”
Gill Clark, Goal.com