Theo Walcott's 10 years at Arsenal - 10 memorable moments
Theo Walcott celebrates the 10-year anniversary of his time at Arsenal on Wednesday, a decade that has been marked with a number of highs, lows, injuries, spectacular goals and never-ending questions about whether he is fulfilling his potential. Here is a look at 10 of the most memorable moments of Walcott's career so far at Arsenal.
Walcott arrives on the scene - Jan. 20, 2006
Walcott signs for Arsenal as a 16-year-old from Southampton for an initial fee of £5 million plus add-ons that could take the deal to £12m. Already renowned for his blazing speed, Arsene Wenger calls him "a talented player with huge potential."
Cup misery - Feb. 25, 2007
Walcott scores his first Arsenal goal in the League Cup final against Chelsea, collecting a pass from Abou Diaby and breaking into the area before finishing superbly into the far corner. That gave Arsenal a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute, but Chelsea went on to win 2-1 in a game more remembered for a late brawl that saw three players sent off.
First league goals overshadowed - Feb. 23, 2008
Walcott scores his first two Premier League goals, but it's only good enough for a 2-2 draw against Birmingham after the Gunners concede an injury-time penalty that damages their title hopes. Walcott's goals are again overshadowed by other events, as Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva suffers a gruesome leg break and captain William Gallas stages a sit-down protest after the final whistle.
Shoulder surgery - Nov. 18, 2008
Walcott dislocates his right shoulder in training while on international duty with England in Berlin, an injury that requires surgery and sidelines him until April 2009. It is the first of many injuries that will curtail his Arsenal career.
Hat trick hero - Aug. 21, 2010
Walcott registers his first Arsenal hat trick in a 6-0 rout of Blackpool in the Gunners' first home league game of the season. Wenger says Walcott is becoming increasingly clinical in front of goal: "He made the right decisions in the final third. When you sum his game up, you see that he can finish. That shows that he improves."
Comeback kid - Feb. 26, 2011
Walcott helps Arsenal stage a remarkable comeback in a memorable North London derby as the team rallies from 2-0 down to beat Tottenham 5-2 at the Emirates Stadium. Walcott has a bad start to the game and is jeered by parts of the frustrated crowd in the first half, but recovers to score the last two goals in a three-minute span in the second half to send the stadium into rapture. Wenger reveals: "I was scared for him because he missed some controls and some passes and people got on his back, but I felt that he could come back into the game."
Last gasp goals - Oct. 30, 2012
Walcott scores a "stoppage-time hat trick" in a wild 7-5 win over Reading in the League Cup after Arsenal trailed 4-0. The England international starts the comeback by netting in first-half injury time and equalises in the 95th minute. He completes the comeback by making it 6-5 in added time of extra time, and Wenger says: "I'm very proud that he's put in the performance he's put in tonight."
Goalscoring mark reached - May 4, 2013
Walcott reaches the 20-goal mark for the first time by netting after just 20 seconds in a 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers. After receiving a pass from Mikel Arteta, Walcott slots the ball past Rob Green for the fastest goal of the Premier League season.
Injury woe - Jan. 4, 2014
Walcott tears a knee ligament during an FA Cup match against Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium which rules him out for the rest of the season and that summer's World Cup. As he is carried off on a stretcher, some of the visiting Spurs fans throw coins and other objects at Walcott. He responds by making a hand gesture to show the score of the game: 2-0 to Arsenal.
Trophy winner - May 30, 2015
After being used sparingly by Wenger since returning from his injury, Walcott is chosen ahead of Olivier Giroud as the starting striker in the FA Cup final against Aston Villa at Wembley. He scores the first goal with a well-struck volley in the 40th minute to set Arsenal on their way to a 4-0 win. Having missed the previous year's FA Cup final, Walcott raises a trophy with Arsenal for the first time.
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.