(Reuters) - Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has backed team mate Theo Walcott to succeed as an out-and-out striker for the Premier League club, and for England.
Played as a winger throughout his career, the 26-year-old Walcott has made it known that he is keen to follow in the footsteps of Arsenal’s record goal-scorer Thierry Henry and make the shift to centre-forward.
He got his chance up front in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Newcastle United, but missed two glorious chances before being replaced in the 70th minute.
“I think Theo has been ready for a number of years to play there. He’s someone I look up to and admire as a person and a player,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said.
”His form for club and country in his long career proves why he’s ready, his goal scoring record proves why he is ready to play up front.
“He is a great player and poses different threats than other strikers with his ability to run in behind. I have no doubt Theo can play up front -- or in midfield as well,” the midfielder added.
Roy Hodgson’s England go to San Marino on Saturday for their Euro 16 Group E match and a victory will see them advance to the European Championship 2016 in France.
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty