The stats that say Arsenal man really is better as a centre-forward

The stats that say Arsenal man really is better as a centre-forward

Arsenal’s Theo Walcott is ready to turn his back on his long-held designs on playing as a central striker for the Gunners and once more be considered chiefly a right winger, in what may prove to be an ill advised change of heart.

“I want to make my position on the right — that’s where I know where I am now. I’ve told the manager that I want to be known for playing on the right again, although I can play up front,” Walcott told reporters, in what The Sun have termed an “embarrassing U-turn”.

Said red-top likely seem to believe that any embarrassment for the England international lies chiefly in the fact that he had been so convinced in the past that moving him to number nine would bring out his inner Thierry-Henry.

However, the true source of his discomfort may come in the realisation that, these days, the former Southampton trainee and occasional children’s author, actually has more to offer through the middle than out wide, at least in terms of goals and assists.

In terms of those two metrics, the numbers by which all but the most hardworking of forwards are judged in the football of today, Walcott has contributed to the Premier League cause at a far better rate when stationed in a central berth.

According to Arsene Wenger has granted the up-until-now-perpetually-agitating striker wannabe 14 Premier League appearances as a centre forward across the past four campaigns.

Those outings have seen nine goals and six assists from the 27-year-old, akin to 0.64 strikes and 0.42 setups per game.

During the same period, he netted 19 times and laid on 14 strikes for his teammates from a total of 59 games in the competition.

That’s a comparatively inefficient average of 0.32 goals and 0.24 assists per appearance in the position to which he now wishes to return.

Arsenal are 6/1 fourth favourites in the 2016/17 Premier League title betting.