There were more than a few Arsenal fans who were sad when the club made the decision to sell Theo Walcott but any ideas that he had merely stalled at Arsenal can surely be put to bed now.
Theo Walcott is a player still struggling to live up to his ‘potential’ despite being just five weeks away from his 30th birthday.
An argument was there to be made that he had not flourished as expected when the club bought him from Southampton as a teenager. There is certainly some merit to that.
Injuries played their part, for sure, but Walcott left Arsenal as an incredibly frustrating player who could have flashes of brilliance two seconds after he watched the ball bobble over his foot and out for a throw.
There was an expectation amongst many Arsenal fans that given the confidence of a new manager, Walcott could finally show us all what he could deliver on a consistent basis.
Sadly, according to Everton fans, he’s done none of that.
“The problem with Walcott is that he is painfully mediocre,” said Toffee Highmace on Reddit. “He’s not particularly bad, he’s just not good. It makes him particularly frustrating to watch because he has more poor performances than good ones, yet still gets started.
“For me on the wings, one of either Bernard or Lookman should be on the pitch at any one time. I don’t think we should ever have Walcott and Richie paired, but that’s just my uninformed useless opinion.”
He was not alone with his opinion.
“He’s had his moments, but overall pretty useless,” added michaelbrandd.
“Started with a bang when he first joined us last year but been wasteful at best since then. Speedy guy that sometimes looks dangerous but disappears way too often.” (Mantooth77)
“I think he had a good half season last year and had a decentish start to this, but has lost his way badly since,” added WatchingTheTide.
Everton paid £20.25m for Walcott, a price inflated by the English premium that Arsenal rarely benefit from. Since his move, he has scored just seven goals (with five assists) in 42 games. That’s a goal involvement rate of 3.5. To compare, Alexis is stinking up Manchester and still has a GIR of 2.5. Alex Iwobi is operating around 3.1 in the league this season, for those wondering.
With 108 goals and 78 assists in 399 Arsenal games, Theo’s rate in London was 2.1 and while no-one expected him to keep that up rate on Merseyside, 3.5 still represents a significant slide for a man paid £110k-a-week to score and create.
This season, he’s has managed just three Premier League goals and two assists in 25 games, an awful return for a player with his ability.
Still, maybe one day he’ll fulfill his potential, eh?