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Portsmouth boss Redknapp hails Arsenal whiz Walcott

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp says Arsenal starlet Theo Walcott can match the feats of Gunners legend Thierry Henry.

"Theo played ever so well and showed again that he is a real talent. I think he will end up as a striker just like Thierry Henry did," he said.

Redknapp had just left Southampton to return for his second spell in charge of Pompey when Walcott was sold to Arsenal in January 2006 for an initial fee of £5million which, under the terms of the sale, is now believed to have doubled because of his outstanding development.

There is little doubt in Redknapp's mind the winger is worth every penny.

"He used the space he got against Croatia to maximise his pace and ability but I really do think he will finish up playing through the middle," he added.

"That's where I gave him his debut against Leeds and he was electrifying.

"We lost the game 2-1 but he scored our goal and could have had four others. At times he ripped Leeds' defence to pieces

"Pace is his main asset but when he's out wide it can be very difficult because, despite all that, people can close right down on you.

"But in the middle he can run either side of markers, get at the centre-halves and allow others to drop off him into the space he creates.

"It's a bit like Henry. When Thierry first came over to Arsenal he played wide on the left for a year or so and didn't have such a great impact early on.

"But when he was put through the middle that's when he went on to become such a world-class player.

"It could be the same with Theo. He just glides over the floor. I said at the time when I gave him his debut that he can run through puddles without making a splash.

"But as well he's cool when he gets his chances, he slides the ball in, and I'm really pleased for him."

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Tribal Football Staff

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