When Theo Walcott hit a hat-trick against Croatia during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers in September 2008, he cemented his reputation as one of England's brightest prospects and propelled England to the finals in South Africa.
Already the proud owner of the record for being his country's youngest ever full international player, aged just 17 years and 75 days when he was selected to play against Hungary in May 2006, the Arsenal forward demonstrated he has all the qualities needed for a striker to succeed in the modern game.
Walcott claimed his first record at the age of 15, becoming Southampton's youngest ever reserve team player, and it wasn't long before his blistering pace and fine footballing brain were being utilised by the first team. Following Saints' relegation from the Premier League at the tail end of the 2005/06 season, the young forward was handed his first team debut, aged just 16 years and 143 days. Walcott's talent could no longer remain a secret, and when Arsenal came calling soon after the young prospect opted to try his luck at Highbury. Just five months later, he was a surprise inclusion in Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, although he did not play.
Having missed the start of the campaign with a back injury, Walcott has struggled to make an impact over the past season, but there is no doubting the 21-year-old has the potential to be a huge star for both club and country.