"Hat-trick hero Theo Walcott has striker's qualities" - Arsene Wenger

Theo Walcott has the instinct and finishing ability to be a successful striker, according to Arsène Wenger.

The England international scored his second hat-trick for the Club on Tuesday night as Arsenal recovered from a four-goal first-half deficit to beat Reading 7-5 after extra time in the Capital One Cup.

Walcott sparked the comeback with a well-taken opener and made it 4-4 in stoppage time before firing the visitors ahead as penalties loomed. The 23-year-old has made no secret of his desire to play as a centre forward and Wenger believes he can do a job there.

"I always said that he will be a striker, so we are on the same wavelength there," said the manager.

"First of all he is a good finisher now - the way he scored the first goal. Secondly, I believe he knows where to be in the box on the rebounds. I like that - that’s a quality of a striker that you cannot give to anybody. You feel it or you don’t. He has the qualities to play there and he was superb [on Tuesday night]."

Wenger reiterated his desire to keep Walcott at Emirates Stadium and praised him for his attitude while negotiations continue.

"That’s what I hope [that he is a striker at Arsenal]," said Wenger. "I always said that I want to keep him. Apart from [the] contract talks, you have to give him credit for the way he is committed for the team and the way he behaves."