The Wonder kid who signed for Arsenal on January 20, 2006 at the age of 16 for a deal worth £12.5 million and instantly burdened with the unenviable task of filling the void vacated by club legend and speedster Thierry Henry is at the center of this piece. However, I can honestly and categorically say that he is yet to come anywhere near the indelible standards set by Henry. Don’t get me wrong, Theo didn’t create the hype or tag given to him, many factors contributed to the reason why the football world expected extraordinary things from him.
kindly find below some of the reasons:
(1) Sven-Goran Eriksson naming him in the provisional 23-man England squad for the summer World Cup of 2006 in Germany at the detriment of proven goal getter and seasoned pro in Jermaine Defoe didn’t help for starters.
(2) The fact that he hadn’t even make his debut for Arsenal when the call came in was also mind bungling.
(3) Arsene Wenger who is known to be very frugal but also for having an eye for talent definitely contributed in the hysteria behind the young man. The move to Arsenal made him the most expensive 16-year-old in the history of British football when he left Southampton in January 2006.
(4) Taking up the famous number 14 shirt which was made iconic by Henry when he was yet to prove himself.
Suffice to say that all this factors and more didn’t help Theo’s development.
As time went by the question reverberates; Is he a winger or Striker?
Right Wing 194 73 44
C.F. 25 12 8
Left Wing 14 5 3
2nd Striker 4 2 1
From the statistics above, he’s quite clearly a winger as he himself has come to realized. Now into his 13th season, he has become the longest-serving player, and has made more first-team appearances than anyone else in the-squad. An historic moment it was for him in February 2017 when he became the 18th player to reach 100 goals mark for the club. Theo!!! A hundred goals, I almost didn’t believe it but numbers don’t lie. He is most definitely a useful player but clearly may not attain the heights of Henry, be that as it may should Arsenal keep him or not?
The curious case of Theo is that he can score goals, can get assists but his inconsistency and lack of creativity in dangerous areas is his undoing. Nevertheless, it must be given to him that he has improved considerably since his signing in 2006, now at the peak age of 28, consistent performance is the least required of him.