Everton could be set for a summer overhaul of the squad and pundit Noel Whelan believes Theo Walcott is one player whose future lies elsewhere.
The Toffees have had several underperforming players this year which is why they are languishing 12th in the Premier League table, but some have disappointed with how frequently they have played.
Summer signing Fabian Delph is included in that as the midfielder has 16 league appearances to his name, while Walcott has often been unavailable during his time on Merseyside, or simply deemed not good enough to start.
He has been named in the starting line-up on 14 occasions in the Premier League this term – six times under Carlo Ancelotti – and since his contract expires in summer 2021 it would seem that he is running out of time to prove himself.
Whelan certainly thinks so, and while he argues that Walcott could still produce the goods he believes the winger won’t do so at Everton, and that indicates his future may lie away from Goodison Park.
Speaking to Football Insider, Whelan said:
“I thought it was a great signing at first, I thought it would work for both player and club but it has not. Injuries again, a lack of confidence and a lack of goals and assists.
“He still has a lot to offer but I do not think it is going to be at Everton unfortunately and I think now you have got to forget about the name and think about the player and what he has done or two seasons which is not enough.
“Right now, you say Theo Walcott and you think about the name and everything he has done at Arsenal. But you need to forget about the name right now because he has not done enough in two seasons whilst he has been at Everton.”
Walcott arrived at Everton in January 2018 for £20m after more than ten years playing regularly in an Arsenal side that qualified for the Champions League, but he failed to translate that experience into effective performances for the Toffees.
He started off brightly with six goal contributions in 13 league starts in 2017/18 but he has failed to replicate that form in the more than year and a half that has passed since.
WhoScored average ratings of 6.5 in 2018/19 and 6.4 this season demonstrate that he is on a downward trajectory, and given he is now 31 it is the right time for Everton to part ways.
They need younger, hungrier players with a point to prove if they are to succeed. Richarlison is a perfect example of that and the Brazilian continues to improve, as his return of 10 goals and three assists this campaign would suggest.
He often occupies a right-wing role, too, while the addition of Alex Iwobi also signalled that Marco Silva held doubt over Walcott’s ability.
One goal and a pass accuracy of 68% show that the Englishman’s best days are behind him, and that means Everton should look to get him off the wage bill sooner rather than later.
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