Reading held talks with Theo Walcott over a summer transfer, with the former Gunner seemingly falling out of favour with Southampton.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 16: Theo Walcott of Southampton tackles Bukayo Saka of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on December 16, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Adrian Dennis - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Theo Walcott of Southampton tackles Bukayo Saka of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on December 16, 2020. (Photo by Adrian Dennis – Pool/Getty Images)

All the way back in 2006, Theo Walcott joined Arsenal from Southampton, going on to make hundreds of appearances for the Gunners. 14 years later, he returned to his former club, featuring relatively regularly in his first campaign back with the Saints.

Yet things have gone downhill in the season or so since then. In 2021/22, Walcott only made 12 appearances in all competitions. This season, he’s yet to play at all.

The 33-year-old’s last appearance was as a late substitute in Southampton’s win over Spurs in February. He’s made the squad nine times since then without coming off the bench.

As a result, perhaps it’s not surprising that Walcott was considering his options in the summer window. Reading boss Paul Ince has confirmed they spoke to the winger about a potential deal, before deciding they couldn’t afford it.

“We were close to getting a deal for Theo Walcott,” Ince said. “I spoke to him, had a good conversation.

“He’s got a year left at Southampton and we couldn’t make the figures work, which was disappointing because the boy wanted to come.”

Theo Walcott
Arsenal’s English midfielder Theo Walcott poses with the Emirates Cup after winning the pre-season friendly football match between Arsenal and Wolfsburg at The Emirates Stadium in north London on July 26, 2015. (IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s a shame that Walcott will now probably struggle for minutes this season. The 33-year-old’s form always seemed to benefit from consistency in the team, and he certainly doesn’t have that right now.

But you never really know how things are going to play out, and perhaps Walcott’s failed transfer could eventually lead to a Premier League revival for him.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.