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Wenger has no problems with Walcott's call-up

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Walcott

Walcott

REUTERS

Walcott

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is unconcerned by fit-again forward Theo Walcott's immediate recall into the England fold.

The 25-year-old has not started a game for Arsenal since their third-round FA Cup victory over local rivals Tottenham on January 4.

A cruciate knee ligament injury left Walcott's World Cup dream in tatters and also meant he missed out on the Gunners' FA Cup success in May, their first trophy for nine years.

He made his long-awaited return as a substitute in last weekend's 3-0 win over Burnley before being named in Roy Hodgson's England squad for the Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia and the friendly in Scotland later this month.

But Wenger is not worrying about whether Walcott will suffer another injury setback and is instead hoping that Hodgson gives him a chance to rack up more minutes as he steps up his comeback.

"Roy Hodgson is free to do what he wants. (Walcott) has been chosen by England and he needs competition," said Wenger.

"He has been out for 10 months - I don't know if you realise how long that is. People think it's like mechanics. They're not machines, they are human beings and to get back into the rhythm of the top, top competition will take time.

"He has had a cruciate injury from an accidental tackle against tackle in January and you can never plan that - it could never happen again.

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"That is for sure in our job - every time you have a big injury, there is a bigger chance of having another. Overall he has been taken care of very well. He is now ready to play again and we have to just leave him in peace and give him the needed time to come back."

The Arsenal boss confirmed Jack Wilshere is available for tomorrow's trip to Swansea after missing two games through illness whilst Wenger was bullish when asked about Walcott's chances of being involved from the start.

"He is in the squad," he said. "His ability to start is that if I decide to start him he can start."

Mikel Arteta (hamstring) will not feature at the Liberty Stadium as he is still recovering having been forced off during the 3-3 Champions League draw against Anderlecht.


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