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Six Potential Replacements for Theo Walcott at the World Cup

10/02/2014 11:21 GMT | Updated 09/04/2014 10:59 BST

Arsenal's Theo Walcott is almost certain to miss this year's World Cup due to a devastating injury, possibly denting England's already slim chances of progressing far in the tournament.

The 24-year-old was having a fantastic season for the Gunners before his injury, having scored five goals and creating four chances for his team.

Walcott injects some invaluable pace into an England squad who often seem to lack the killer blow in attack and his ability to jink past an opponent is sure to leave a big gap in the attacking flow of the Three Lions.

Who could replace Theo on the wing? Since the days of David Beckham, England have longed for a creative player who can produce magic at any moment.

Read on to find out which six players could take Theo Walcott's place on the plane to Brazil in June.

6. James Milner

James Milner has been struggling for a starting place at Manchester City this season, playing just six games from the kick-off and making 14 appearances from the bench.

The 28-year-old doesn't provide as much flair or creativity as others on this list, but he is an experienced England team member, earning 44 caps.

This experience may be invaluable, especially if Roy Hodgson decides to field a relatively inexperienced squad in Brazil.

Milner would benefit greatly if he moved clubs as it is hard to compete with the quality which City have at their disposal, but he could easily prove his ability with regular football somewhere else.

He is a strong winger and can swing a good cross in, but his lack of appearances in the Premier League don't do him any justice.

5. Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana is a versatile midfielder who's ability can be used in a variety of ways.

The Southampton man can be played on the left or right wing, as well as in attacking midfield.

He has had an impressive season so far for the Saints, scoring seven goals and assisting six in 24 games.

The 25-year-old earned his first cap in November of last year, however, so is somewhat inexperienced in international football.

But Lallana is a key element to Southampton's success this season and could prove a valuable, versatile commodity for England at the World Cup.

4. Andros Townsend

The Tottenham Hotspur man produced some sizzling performances for England in the World Cup Qualifiers last year.

But Townsend has been sidelined since Christmas with a hamstring problem, meaning his playing time has been seriously lacking.

If he can arrive at full fitness in time, the 22-year-old could be an important player for England in the summer.

Townsend oozes confidence and isn't afraid to run at players with the ball, a characteristic often lacking in the English national side.

3. Raheem Sterling

Having just turned 19, Raheem Sterling would be one of the youngest inclusions in Roy Hodgson's squad if he gets his chance.

The winger has turned in some impressive performances recently, most notably against Everton, which prompted Liverpool manager Brendan Rogers to openly applaud his ability in the press.

Sterling is blessed with devastating pace and tactical knowledge, giving him a high level of maturity beyond his age.

He has started a fair amount of games for Liverpool this season and captain Steven Gerrard has challenged him to play his way to Brazil in June.

2. Adam Johnson

Former Manchester City winger Adam Johnson has seen a career revival at Sunderland and is almost single-handedly turning their season around.

The 26-year-old has scored a stunning seven goals in seven games for the Black Cats, earning praise from pundits and fans alike.

Johnson could bring goals to the England squad and would be best utilised in Walcott's position on the right wing, giving him the opportunity to cut inside and get shots in on goal.

If the winger continues his fine run of form, he could prove to be a deadly asset at the World Cup.

The youngster will surely be a dead cert to board the plane if he continues playing like he is.

1. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The Ox' has made a triumphant return to first team football after being laid off with an injury, scoring both goals in Arsenal's win over Crystal Palace.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain proved that he belongs in this season's dominating Gunners side with his performance.

The 20-year-old has already made 13 appearances for England at such a tender age, so is able to cope with the pressure.

Oxlade-Chamberlain provides excellent dribbling with superb pace and passing credentials, but he is also not afraid to shoot from distance.

It's easy to see the Ox boarding the plane to the World Cup, especially if he carries the form he displayed on Sunday through the rest of the season.

He has also scored against Brazil at the Maracana stadium, which can only be a good omen...

The right winger is capable of dismantling defences and Roy Hodgson will be hoping he can recapture his previous form in time for the tournament.

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