Red hot: Walcott says the team's mentality is stronger than he has ever known

By Alex Taylor

England caretaker manager Gareth Southgate has stated that Theo Walcott will start against Malta on Saturday – and Arsenal fans have praised the decision on Twitter.

Walcott, 27, has enjoyed a strong start to his domestic campaign with the Gunners this season and has now been selected for an important role with the Three Lions.

The forward was dropped for the European Championship’s in France this summer, but has since been recalled to Sam Allardyce’s squad in September and now Southgate’s.

“Theo will start,” Southgate told The Sun. “It is a good moment for him. He is in superb form for his club and as an international manager you want players in the side who are maturing well.”

Supporters on social media were excited by the news with one fan saying Walcott deserves a chance in the side.

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Here is a selection of the messages on Twitter.:

https://twitter.com/XhakaScreamer/status/784445553425866753

https://twitter.com/sean_mcfc/status/784445138818981888

https://twitter.com/FutboIRaul/status/784450455300694016

https://twitter.com/MashidurMiah/status/784454819146858496

https://twitter.com/afcjack16/status/784454522861187072

Walcott has enjoyed a thrilling return to form this season after bagging five goals and providing two assists in eight games.

The former Southampton ace has been fighting for his international future in recent years and will be keen to impress new boss Southgate.

Walcott is under pressure from West Ham star Michael Antonio among others for his international spot, but has now received the backing of England’s caretaker manager.

The winger has played 376 matches throughout his career, scoring 94 goals and providing 73 assists.

In other Arsenal news, the Gunners will be boosted by the return of this defender.