Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed Theo Walcott is taking advice on adapting to a striking role from Thierry Henry.
The 23-year-old has featured in a central role for Arsenal in recent weeks and has publicly voiced his desire to be considered as a striker under Wenger on a number of occasions.
Henry has been training with his former club during the MLS off-season and Wenger believes the Frenchman’s presence could benefit Walcott’s development as a forward.
“He will learn something in his position and I am confident he will do well in that position. It’s a bit early to compare him to Thierry Henry.
“Yes [Henry] gives him advice. It’s always important. Theo is a very intelligent boy. He understands very quickly when you tell him something and that’s why I think he can do very well in this position.”
Walcott’s future Arsenal is in doubt with just six months left to run on his current deal, and the England international’s desire to become the club’s focal attacking point is believed to be one of the stumbling points in negotiations.
Despite the delay in signing a new deal, Wenger admits he has been buoyed by Walcott’s performances as a striker but insists he may still be needed as a winger.
“I like the signs that I have seen,” Wenger told the club’s official website. “If you look at my statements, I always said that one day he would play through the middle and it grew in his brain.
“He is now 23. I decided to play Thierry Henry at 23 through the middle because you have to learn a lot before. The fact that you play in other positions as well helps your technique.
“On the wing you need a shorter technique against the line. Once you [then] play in the middle you can go on both sides.
“From [the ages of] 19 to 23, Theo has learnt a lot. Now we will sometimes play him on the flanks and sometimes through the middle. I like what I have seen through the middle.
“He has played two games [through the middle] and you have to be open-minded in our job and give people a chance. If they take it, it’s good. If [not], he will still be a fantastic winger so it puts some more assets in his game.