Writer: Stef C
Date:Monday January 16 2006
The endless speculation around Saints prodigy Theo Walcott culminated in a £12 million pound bid from Arsenal yesterday, after Arsene Wenger had spent several days being very open about his ambition to sign the player:
“Ideally we would want Theo to join us straight away. But it would not be a deal-breaker if Southampton say they want him to finish the season there,”
Saints have swiftly rejected the bid and George Burley is still hopeful of Theo staying:
'At the moment he is in the best place and is doing tremendously.
'The best thing for his future is to stay here at Southampton. To have his talent at such a young age is tremendous.'
It might be a biased perspective but i'm sure most people, except Arsenal fans, would find it hard to see how such a high profile move would help Theo's career when he's still only 16.
If he moves now it would be a world record transfer fee for a player his age; he's too young to even sign a professional contract. It's unbelievable someone so young is expected to carry such high expectancy - Wayne Rooney stayed at Everton until he was 19 before signing for Man United and that was considered young at the time.
Despite all this the top clubs now scramble so much to beat each other to talented young players that what's best for their development gets overlooked.
At present Theo's future at St Mary's is still very unclear and he'll have to make his decision amid a confusing media frenzy.
Chelsea are also reported to be willing to offer over £15 million to sign the striker, but its believed Theo would prefer a move to Highbury over Stamford Bridge.
Rupert Lowe will meet Theo's representatives this week to try and persuade the striker to stay.
Date:Monday January 16 2006
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