Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri departures have brought Arsenal together says Theo Walcott


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The Independent Football

Theo Walcott has claimed that Arsenal are more of team without Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

The Gunners struggled initially this season after star midfielder Fabregas left for Barcelona and Nasri joined Manchester City, but have been in impressive form since October.

Walcott, who admits he is desperate for Arsenal to end their seven-year trophy drought, says the departures led to the team adopting a new style.

The 22-year-old told Arsenal Player: "I'm not saying that Cesc and Samir were individual players, they were great team players, but when you lose two top players everyone needs to come together.

"The manager has brought in some good additions and we are a bit more of a team, we work harder when we haven't got the ball.

"We have a lot more clean sheets as well, and having [Thomas] Vermaelen back is very important as he is a massive player for us.

"The next thing the whole team needs to share the goals more. Samir and Cesc used to get quite a lot of them and Robin van Persie has been getting most of them so that's our next step."

Walcott is hoping that the return to fitness of 20-year-old England midfielder Jack Wilshere - who is due back in action in around a month - could help tip the season towards Arsenal in their search for silverware.

"Seeing Jack in and around the dressing room and treatment room, he is as happy as ever," he added.

"He's had a new step in his life with a new-born baby, which is great, and he is also a very important player for us.

"He won the Young Player of the Year award last year which was deserved. He's also played for England and now he just needs to get back out on that pitch.

"You have to ease him back into it because he's had a long time out and he's only just turned 20. He has a long career ahead of him so we don't want to be overplaying him. But we'll use him the right way, I'm sure of it."

Walcott also admitted that he needs to help ease the scoring burden on Van Persie's shoulders and for Arsenal to take the final step towards winning a trophy.

He said: "I need to get in among the goals a bit more maybe - I only have four. But I'm happy if the team's winning and I'm getting assists for the main man up front. I'm doing my job and you have to be effective going forward. That's what I've been doing so far.

"It's been a long time since we won something and for me personally, I want to win even more now as well.

"Fingers crossed we can all stay fit, which is quite important. In seasons before we've had a lot of injuries that have stuttered us slightly and that doesn't help the team. But it's a squad thing, and the important thing is that we keep a lot of players fit."