Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hopes forward Theo Walcott can be convinced to stay with the Gunners after playing a key role in Saturday’s 4-0 English FA Cup Final triumph over Aston Villa at the Wembley Stadium.
Walcott was chosen in the starting lineup for the Wembley Final in favour of first-choice striker Olivier Giroud and the England international made most of his chance by opening the scoring over Villa five minutes before half-time.
There is still doubt about the 26-year-old’s future at the Emirates Stadium with just 12 months remaining on his current contract with the North Londoners, but Wenger remains confident.
“I don’t see why he should not be here next season,” said the French boss after lifting the FA Cup for a second successive year.
“He’s a player who was out for a year, January to January – it took him a while to get back to his best.
“He’s now at an age where it’s very interesting. He has experience, he’s at his peak physically. It’s a time to stay with us.”
Talking more broadly about the club’s transfer plans and hopes for next season, he said: “We have some time now to prepare. We have a good confidence level, let’s show we can be intelligent in the summer. Of course we can push on, why not?
“We don’t know how good the other teams will be. It is about consistency at the top level, we’ve shown signs of consistency.
“When you have a good confidence level and the quality you can be consistent.”
Wenger briefly reflected on his sixth FA Cup win and a record-breaking 12th for the Arsenal.
He said: “I’m very proud of that [the 12th cup win] because, if it has not been done, it shows that it’s not easy.
“All of us want to achieve things that are difficult. For the club it’s great because we won it 12 times… more than any other club.”