When transfer rumours linking high-profile Arsenal players to other clubs crop up, particularly when it is to another Premier League side, the immediate feeling is "no way." However, when the Theo Walcott to West Ham rumour swirled on Monday, there was a feeling of "hmm, maybe."
Walcott, after a brilliant start to the season, when he made the central forward position his own and put in one of his best performances in an Arsenal shirt in a 3-0 victory over Manchester United in October, has found it difficult to break into the side in the second half of the season.
Since an injury in the autumn, Walcott has struggled to convince Wenger he can still be the main man, despite Olivier Giroud's obvious failings in front of goal. After he went completely missing in the reverse fixture against Manchester United in February, Walcott's stock has considerably dropped, with the forward, sometimes, barely even making it out of the bench.
That has led to the 27-year-old struggling to make a case for an inclusion in the England squad for Euro 2016, and while he might still make it owing to Danny Welbeck's injury, there is little doubt that Walcott's future as an Arsenal player is very much up in the air.
Even Wenger, when asked about Walcott's prospects with Arsenal next season, admitted the player could move on. "I don't know yet," was Wenger's answer in late April to the "will Walcott leave in the summer" question.
Arsenal have quite a few options in the wide department, with Joel Campbell, unfortunately, still finding it difficult to break into the team consistently. When Arsenal were going through an injury crisis, Campbell was the one who stepped up, putting on one impressive performance after another, only to see him return to the bench when the injured players returned.
When Walcott is amongst the substitutes, you almost feel Wenger feels compelled to use the 27-year-old, rather than take a chance on someone like Campbell, who could be more dynamic. Yes, Walcott had an impact when he came on during the 2-2 draw with Manchester City, but that is slowly but surely becoming the exception rather than the rule.
And for a player of Walcott's stature, he will want to be one of the first names in the starting XI, which is why a move to West Ham, as The Sun reports, would make sense. While the fee being touted -- £20 million – seems a little low, even for an out-of-form Walcott, moving the forward on in the summer would probably be in the best interests of both player and club.
With Alex Iwobi also making a name for himself and quite a few other youngsters raring to be given an opportunity, not to mention the transfer activity expected by Wenger in the summer, Walcott might end up being surplus to requirements at Arsenal, and reinvigorating his career at an ambitious West Ham, who will play in the Olympic Stadium from next season, might not be the worst of ideas for the man who signed from Southampton in 2006, but could bid goodbye after a decade with the club.