Theo Walcott got his first few league minutes for Everton at the weekend and with Carlo Ancelotti telling him that’s the way it’s going to be now, the former Arsenal man is close to a move back to Southampton.
When Theo Walcott doesn’t play you usually assume he’s injured, but that’s not the case here. He simply hasn’t been deemed good enough by Ancelotti who, let’s face it, knows a thing or two.
Until this weekend, 90 minutes were all he’d seen, against Salford in the EFL Cup. He sat on the bench as Everton dispatched Fleetwood 5-2 and didn’t even made the matchday squad for the Toffees two league games before their game against Brighton on Saturday when he came off the bench for 12 minutes.
As such, there was talk that Everton were looking to move Walcott on two years after they paid Arsenal £20.25m but just last week Ancelotti said he think Walcott would be leaving just yet.
“I don’t think so,” Ancelotti replied when asked if Theo would be off. “The problem is the competition is really high in this moment. Sometimes it can happen that a player, like Theo, is not involved.
“Unfortunately, this is the decision I have to take and I am not absolutely happy to take this kind of decision, to leave out a player like Walcott.
“A player who is professional, serious in training and always ready.”
This seems to have changed as it is being reported that a loan move to Southampton is ‘90% done’.
— Jack Rosser (@JackRosser_) October 5, 2020
Since leaving Arsenal when Unai Emery arrived, Walcott has scored just 11 goals, with eight assists, in 85 Everton games. Given the minutes he’s played (4,872) that’s a goal or assist every 256 minutes, a far cry from the 125 minutes he went in between scoring or assisting while in London.
Now 31, Walcott is out of contract next summer and looks like he will need to find another home. He’ll be 32 then. I thought a return to Southampton, 16 years after he left for Arsenal as a 16-year-old stacked with all the potential in the world might appeal to him.
I wasn’t quite sure, however, if it would appeal to Southampton or not but it seems like it does.