Walcott: Nasri, Cesc exits made us stronger

Theo Walcott believes Arsenal have emerged stronger following the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri during the summer transfer window. Arsenal suffered a difficult start to their Premier League campaign, with the nadir taking the shape of an 8-2 drubbing by Manchester United at Old Trafford in August.

However Walcott told Arsenal Player magazine that the Gunners were now a more united outfit after Fabregas was sold to Barcelona and Nasri headed north to Manchester City. "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," Walcott, 22, said.

"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 hopes that the return of Jack Wilshere from injury could help give Arsenal's season fresh impetus when the 20-year-old comes back next month. "Seeing Jack in and around the dressing room and treatment room, he is as happy as ever," Wilshere added. "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."