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Friday 18 January 2013

In brief: Theo Walcott signs new Arsenal contract

Winger signs long-term deal while Sandro and Darren Fletcher are out for the rest of the season

  • Theo Walcott is Arsenal's leading goalscorer this season

  • Sandro has made 22 appearances for Spurs this season

  • Fletcher scored against QPR on his only Barclays Premier League start this season

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott has ended speculation over his future by signing a new long-term contract with the club.

The 23-year-old, who joined the Gunners from Southampton in January 2006, has made 244 first-team appearances for Arsenal, scoring 56 goals, and is the club's leading goalscoring in the 2012/13 season with 14 goals.

"I am very happy to have signed a new contract here at Arsenal," he told the club's official website. "Thanks to everyone for their continued support, especially the manager, everyone at the club and most importantly the fans.

"Theo is a strong player and also a great person"
Arsene Wenger

"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 realise its potential and win trophies."

Manager Arsene Wenger said he was "delighted" with the news that Walcott has committed his future to the club.

"He joined us as a 16-year-old and since then has developed very well to become an extremely important player for both Arsenal Football Club and England," he said. "Theo is a strong player and also a great person, and the combination of his ability and pace always make him such a valuable asset either from the flanks or down the middle.

"Theo's contract extension now gives us a strong nucleus of ambitious young players who have committed to the club and want to be successful with us as a group."

Walcott's new deal is another boost for Arsenal following on from the five new long-term contracts that were signed by Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs last month.

Knee surgery ends Sandro's season

Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed that their midfielder Sandro has been ruled out for the rest of the season after injuring his right knee against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

"Following consultation with the knee surgeon, the Club can report that Sandro is expected to be sidelined for the rest of the season after surgery on his right knee earlier this week," Spurs said on their website.

The club added that the 23-year-old, who has made 22 appearances for Tottenham in the Barclays Premier League this season, scoring once, had damaged the anterior cruciate ligament and lateral meniscus in his right knee.

Surgery forces Fletcher to forgo season

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher is out for the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery to resolve his ulcerative colitis condition.

"We look forward to Darren returning next season with this problem behind him"
Manchester United

The Scotland international, who has been struggling with the condition since March 2011, appeared to have conquered the problem when he returned from a lengthy absence to play three matches at the end of November.

But since starting at Queens Park Rangers on 24 November, the 28-year-old has managed only two substitute appearances – the last a one-minute showing against Newcastle United on Boxing Day – and on Thursday night United confirmed he would miss the remainder of their Barclays Premier League campaign in order to undergo surgery that may help him conquer the chronic bowel condition for good.

A United statement read: "Darren Fletcher will be unavailable for the remainder of this season having undergone surgery to resolve his ulcerative colitis condition.

"We wish to stress this was a planned procedure undertaken at the optimal time having achieved a period of sustained good general health, as illustrated by the fact that Darren has trained with the team regularly this season and been available for selection right up to the operation.

"Whilst it is frustrating for both Darren and the club that he won't be able to contribute further during this campaign, this decision has been taken with our full support in the best interests of his long term health and we look forward to him returning next season with this problem firmly behind him."

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Key Points

  • Theo Walcott signs new long-term contract with Arsenal
  • Sandro to miss rest of the season after surgery on his right knee
  • Darren Fletcher ruled out for rest of campaign after operation to resolve ulcerative colitis condition.