Southampton fell to a 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa on Saturday evening, although VAR was a serious cause of controversy.
Ross Barkley’s goal earned the visitors all three points but Ralph Hasenhuttl will feel aggrieved that his side were denied a penalty after Matty Cash’s handball, and they had a last-gasp equaliser chalked off when Danny Ings was ruled offside by the tightest of margins.
In a time where the Saints are suffering an injury crisis, which only got worse as Ibrahima Diallo, Oriol Romeu and Theo Walcott were all substituted due to injury concerns on Saturday, the Austrian is reliant on experienced players such as Walcott to help his side out.
However, the former Arsenal man’s performance against Villa was far from good enough, as he struggled throughout the game before he hobbled off.
As per SofaScore, the 31-year-old earned a 5.5 match rating for his performance, which was comfortably the worst of any player on the pitch.
Although the £9 million-rated forward was substituted just after the hour mark, he failed to have any real impression on the game during his time on the pitch, contributing no shots and no key passes.
Former Southampton left-back Matt Targett had the better of him throughout the game, as Walcott failed to win any of his nine duels, and he was unsuccessful in all five of his dribble attempts.
Targett, meanwhile, would win nine ground duels and made nine tackles – the most of any player on the pitch, which led to him earning an impressive 7.8 match rating.
Walcott was also wasteful on the few occasions he received the ball, as he had just 31 touches during his time on the pitch but would still manage to lose possession on 12 occasions, making just 15 passes during the game.
It was frankly an anonymous display from the 31-year-old former England international and although his injury comes as a blow, based on his performance against Villa, it is hard to argue that he will be a big miss in Hasenhuttl’s side, as it arguably showed that he is way past his best.
And, in other news… Southampton dealt transfer blow with 23 y/o; Ralph faces a race against time