Arsene Wenger claims Arsenal will have a "different" Theo Walcott in the 2016/17 season if the forward can showcase a fighting spirit on the pitch and at the training sessions. He struggled in the previous term, managing five goals and only two assists in 28 league appearances.

The 27-year-old had a good start to this campaign, scoring and registering a goal each in three league fixtures. The Gunners manager has started the England international in the first three matches and set up a goal for Alexis Sanchez in the north London club's 3-1 win over Watford.

Walcott had earlier urged Wenger to reignite his career by playing him on the wings. The Frenchman remains hopeful that there are no injury setbacks for the Arsenal star as has backed the attacker to have a bright season at the Emirates.

"I said before the season started that we will get a different Theo Walcott this year. If he can maintain that focus, that desire and that fighting attitude then he will have a great season," Wenger told Arsenal's official website.

"I hope he has no setback because he is an intelligent player, he is focused and has a great desire to prove his critics wrong and he's on a good way.

"I am very pleased, I think we had an excellent first half at Watford. We cannot maintain it completely physically yet for 90 minutes but overall I could see there was some potential in the team, some fluency."

Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott assisted Alexis Sanchez's goal in Arsenal's 3-1 victory over Watford Getty

Arsenal sealed their first three points of this season against Watford. Wenger was delighted with his side's overall performance and remains confident the Gunners will have a strong squad with the addition of Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez, along with the return of injured players.

"We created chances and there was great movement. Overall, I am very pleased with our first-half performance. Defensively we had a good game as well and I believe when everybody is on board physically for 90 minutes, we have a strong team," the Arsenal manager explained.