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Walcott signs new Arsenal deal

Arsenal announced on Friday that the club has come to terms on a new 3 1/2-year contract with forward Theo Walcott.

The 23-year-old was linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium after he turned down a new deal in August, but has now reversed course after Arsenal increased its offer.

Manager Arsene Wenger has already secured new contracts for Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson this season, and Walcott represents an important piece for an Arsenal side that has lost star players like Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas in recent years.

"I am very happy to have signed a new contract here at Arsenal," Walcott said. "Thanks to everyone for their continued support, especially the manager, everyone at the club and most importantly the fans. I have made it clear from the start that I wanted to stay at Arsenal so I am pleased we have agreed a deal that everyone is happy with. What's important now is for the team to realize its potential and win trophies."

Walcott leads Arsenal with eight goals in 17 league appearances this season.