Ralph Hasenhuttl has provided an injury update on Southampton winger Theo Walcott…
The Saints manager has revealed that the 32-year-old has returned to fitness ahead of the clash with Wolves in the Premier League on Sunday.
The Austrian told the Daily Echo: “Theo Walcott was back in training today for first time in a long time, and the rest yeah so far fit, Stuey (Armstrong) still unavailable and that’s it.
“Stuey has not been training with the group, and yes Theo was this week starting with the team sessions so it will take time until he’s on the level but it’s good to have him back, and important to give him training sessions with the team.”
Southampton fans will be delighted with this news as it means that Hasenhuttl has one more option to call upon in the wide areas. The Saints have struggled with the two wide positions in the team this season, with Moussa Djenepo, Nathan Redmond and Mohamed Elyounoussi all flattering to deceive.
Djenepo and Redmond have started six Premier League games between them and have produced zero goals and zero assists. Elyounoussi, meanwhile, has started three games and provided one goal and zero assists in the league for Hasenhuttl.
This suggests that Southampton’s wide players have struggled with their end product in the top flight. Therefore, having another player coming into the mix could bring a welcome boost, as it offers an alternative option in the team whilst also providing competition for the players currently occupying the wide berths in the starting XI.
Last year, Hasenhuttl lauded the forward’s work ethic on the pitch, saying: “I’m happy to work with Theo, he definitely showed it means something to him to play for this club. You can feel how much he invests working for the team.”
This highlights one of the qualities Walcott could bring to the side. His pressing from the front could open up opportunities for others by forcing mistakes from opposition defenders and causing turnovers, allowing his teammates to pick up the ball and cause damage in the final third.
Therefore, fans may well be delighted to see the 32-year-old back involved in some capacity against Wolves. They know that he will give 110% on the pitch by working hard out wide, which illustrates why his return could be a boost to Hasenhuttl’s squad.