The Sun have continued their blood-thirsty, sensationalist slant on football with a pointlessly spurious story on Theo Walcott’s future.
Citing a ‘source’ (AKA sinister journalist desperate to find something interesting to report about), the red-top has claimed Walcott will threaten to walk out of the club if Van Persie leaves, with Juventus a possible destination.
Needless to say this is a probable cause of action further down the line, as the player’s agent looks for leverage in any potential contract negotiations, but the actual chances of Walcott walking out on the club that raised him are very, very low.
Walcott is entering the peak of his career, finally living up to his potential after suffering years of being over-hyped, following his dramatically expensive move from Southampton and his bizarre headline-grabbing inclusion in the 2006 World Cup squad. Leaving Arsenal would present an inept decision for a player already incapable of holding down a permanent fixture in the starting line-up for his current club. A transfer could only be a sideways step, and one that moves him away from London and away from the attractive style of football Arsenal are famed for.
It is a tragic state of affairs that The Sun is the most read paper in the country, and a very poor reflection on the population, considering the perpetual drivel dreamed up by their reporters. Their transfer rumours have stretched from the improbable to the impossible over the years, and this one deserves no greater reaction than a quick tut before turning the page over.
Van Persie leaving the Gunners will have significant ramifications, and many players with little time remaining on their contract will question the ambition of the club, should RVP leave. The problem is, Arsenal will know this, but agents will know Arsenal know this. Walcott has a good chance of a wage hike if he expresses discomfort at Arsenal’s transfer policy, and what better time than after a great (if not a bit fluky) goal against Sweden has suddenly raised his stock?
Whether Walcott’s people created this story, or whether The Sun looked to cash in on Walcott’s 15 minutes at this summer’s Euros, is irrelevant: the story really has no legs at all. If Walcott was to leave Arsenal, it would be the biggest mistake of his career.
But don’t worry. He won’t.