Ralph Hasenhuttl looks to have been handed a huge boost at Southampton ahead of the rest of the season, with Theo Walcott making his return to training after a lengthy injury this week.
The on-loan Everton man has been pictured in training during the international break and could be set to make his return when the Saints take on Burnley at St Mary’s next weekend.
Walcott rejoined his boyhood club in the summer on loan from the Toffees and made a promising start, with two goals and two assists in his first eight appearances at the South Coast club.
Considering Southampton now find themselves in a relegation battle, after losing 2-1 to Brighton in their last Premier League fixture, Hasenhuttl will surely be delighted to have someone of Walcott’s experience available for the run-in and will be hoping that the 32-year-old can help steer the Saints to safety.
Walcott will also know that he will need to perform for the remaining fixtures this season, as his contract with Everton is set to expire in the summer, so you would imagine that he is hoping Southampton will turn his loan move into a permanent one ahead of next season.
When Walcott is on form, he can still be a dangerous player in the Premier League, but he will have to start showing some of the form that led Danny Mills to label him “unplayable” in 2019 if he wants to earn himself a permanent contract with Southampton this summer.
There is no doubt that his return will be a timely boost for Hasenhuttl, however, as the Saints boss will be desperate to have as many senior options available as possible as he looks to avoid being dragged into a relegation dogfight for the final few fixtures of this season.