During Arsenal’s game against Swansea I pondered if some imposter had murdered Theo Walcott and has been tearing up the Premier League this season wearing a Theo skin suit.
His transformation has been that dramatic, I felt it was a reasonable question to ask.
In fact, he’s not played like this since the first contract sage that resulted in ‘sign da ting’ was, well, a ‘ting’.
Against Swansea he grabbed his sixth and seventh goals of the season, his fourth and fifth in the last five games.
In the league, Theo has already equalled his goals (5) and assists (2) tally from the whole of last season (8 games v 28).
He’s won almost twice as many tackles as he did last campaign (13 v 7).
He’s four clearances away from his 15/156 total, increased his take-on percentage by 7%, won more aerial duels than he did all last season (6 v 5), committed eight fouls to last season’s 3, and is just 98 passes away from the total number he made last year.
In short, he’s a completely different player.
Here is his pass map, shot map and ball recovery map:
Like a new signing in so many ways.