Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger plans to reward England international winger Theo Walcott for his brilliant performance and goals against BATE Borisov on Thursday night in the UEFA Europa League with more English Premier League minutes, but will hold continue with plans to rotate his squad for Sunday’s Premier League visit of Brighton.
Arsene Wenger is set to recall players rested from Thursday night’s trip to Eastern Europe – Belarus, though German Mesut Ozil remains sidelined, and French defender Laurent Koscielny doubtful.
Theo Walcott has been a ghost figure this Premier League season but netted twice during Arsenal’s UEFA Europa League win on Thursday night, having struggled to be selected amid competition from England teammate Danny Welbeck, Chilean Alexis Sanchez and Frenchman Alexandre Lacazette.
The England striker impressed in his role behind France international striker Olivier Giroud and alongside England midfielder Jack Wilshere, but will not be retained against new boys Brighton because of Arsene Wenger’s plans to protect by rotating his players from a demanding fixture schedule.
The 28-year-old winger was heavily criticized for Arsenal’s poor outing when they were defeated 3-0 at Crystal Palace back in April, but the manager Wenger insists that has had no influence on his selection decision and when asked if Theo Walcott will be played in the league, he answered: “Yes. [But] the competition (matches) up front is difficult.
Kolasinac and forward Alex Iwobi could return to the Matchday squad for the Gunners, but defender Coquelin (hamstring) and forward Welbeck (hip) remain sidelined.