Less than a year ago, the doom and gloom around Arsenal was highlighted by their battle to keep Theo Walcott, who they eventually convinced the sign a new bumper contract at the club.
Nowadays the speed merchant may have to settle for a bench-warming role when he returns from injury, as the Gunners have swept aside allcomers in his absence.
Arsene Wenger’s side are now 7/5 to win the Premier League and 18/1 the Champions League.
Star signing Mesut Ozil, who has scored three and set up five in 11 games, enjoys having the freedom to drift out to the right-flank.
The man who changed everything at Arsenal when his £42.5m capture was announced on deadline-day, Ozil has been key to the Gunners’ recent superb form.
Part of the German’s genius is his movement, constantly moving into pockets of space to lose defenders, and in the current system he can exchange places with the likes of Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere at will.
Ozil has a penchant for moving to the right flank in particular, with 42% of Arsenal’s attacks going down that side as a result, and bringing in Walcott, who cannot swap into a number 10 role, would limit the playmaker’s options.
The Gunners are no longer desperate for Walcott’s goals, scoring 22 in 10 league games as other players have become more prolific.
While Aaron Ramsey is likely to have the title of Premier League’s most improved player locked up already, several other Arsenal players could compete for the title, partly thanks to extra ruthlessness in front of goal.
Olivier Giroud and Ramsey have banged in 15 goals between them and even Wilshere has located his shooting boots with two strikes this campaign.
Ozil and Cazorla are both likely to reach double figures as well, meaning last year’s top scorer Walcott’s contribution is no longer essential.
The wannabe frontman may finally get his wish to play as a striker, as Nicklas Bendtner has failed to score in any appearances so far.
There is one role up for grabs in the squad – as Giroud’s deputy, due to the hapless Dane’s continued incompetence.
With Wenger able to call on a battalion of attacking midfielders with the technical chops to play in his current system, he might view Walcott as the perfect choice to give the Frenchman an occasional rest rather than using him on the wing.
Though possessing nothing like the physical presence Giroud commands, unless he spends the game running backwards with his eyes shut, the England international is unlikely to have less of an impact than Bendtner.