Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott | Arsenal & England Wonderkid

Arsene Wenger to remain patient with Theo Walcott despite goalscoring form

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has admitted Theo Walcott will have to show patience in order to secure regular Premier League football this season.

The England international bagged a brace in the 4-2 Europa League win over BATE Borisov and continued his fine form which included the winner against Doncaster Rovers in the third round of the League Cup.

Prior to the Brighton & Hove Albion game, Wenger was asked whether Walcott's performance could influence his plans in the Premier League, to which he replied: “Yes. (But) the competition up front is hard. I have Sanchez, I have Walcott. I have shown Theo I have confidence in him for a big game (at BATE). I have a different schedule for the players who have played the full 90 (on Thursday); I will rotate again on Sunday. He could have scored more (at BATE), but his strength is scoring goals. He can score goals: he is a good finisher and had two or three more chances. But as long as the team played very well, there were plenty of chances.”

Walcott had plenty of chances to secure his hat-trick against BATE on Thursday night, but he will still be happy with his overall performance as his goals proved crucial at the Borisov Arena. The hosts looked lost in a first-half display which saw the Gunners lead by a 3-1 scoreline.

Olivier Giroud scored his 100th goal for the Gunners to make it 4-1 on the night, but it was thereafter a struggle for Arsene Wenger's side, who held on for a 4-2 victory with David Ospina making a string of impressive saves. The victory takes the Gunners to the top of their Europa League group phase, two points ahead of Red Star Belgrade, who they face at the RajkoMitić Stadium in the week following the international break.