Arsenal striker Theo Walcott has been urged to leave the club or risk failing to fulfil his potential, according to ex-England international Ray Wilkins. The 27-year-old has scored just five Premier League goals this season and has slipped down the pecking order for club and country.
Walcott's failure to capture his best form could see him miss out on being included in Roy Hodgson's England squad for the summer's European Championships. Adam Lallana, James Milner and Raheem Sterling are set to be selected ahead of the ex-Southampton forward, who is in danger of seeing his career fizzle out.
The Sun understands that West Ham United are interested in signing Walcott for £20m this summer to mark their move into the Olympic Stadium. And Walcott has been advised to take the opportunity to leave Arsenal – for their London rivals or elsewhere – to ensure he makes the most of his talent.
"I definitely think Theo has to move on," Wilkins told Talksport. "Theo has underachieved for the last couple of years and he is not getting any games for Arsenal at the moment. He has got to play games to fulfil that potential he's always had, but to get games you've got to force the manager's hand, and it doesn't look like that's going to happen at Arsenal."
Arsene Wenger revealed last month that Walcott's future at Arsenal was uncertain after he fell behind Alexis Sanchez, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck in the pecking order. When asked whether Walcott could leave, the French coach responded: "I don't know yet. I'm not in transfer mode yet."
Should Walcott depart he would be one of a raft of expected exits this summer, with midfield trio Mathieu Flamini, Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta all set to leave Arsenal at the end of their contracts. Walcott, who has won 43 international caps with England, however would signify by far the highest profile exit.