One player that hasn’t had a good start to the season in an attacking sense is 32-year-old winger Theo Walcott, who has yet to score a goal or provide an assist in any competition so far this season for Southampton despite making seven appearances.
Given his age, his lack of attacking impact he’s had so far this season and the fact that his current contract at St. Mary’s is set to expire in 2023, we think the club should be thinking about a potential replacement for the Englishman sooner rather than later.
However, we feel as though the club could already have their ideal long-term replacement for Walcott at the club with 18-year-old winger Kazeem Olaigbe.
Olaigbe joined Southampton’s U18 side back in the 2019 summer transfer window from RSC Anderlecht’s youth system for an undisclosed fee.
Since then, the Belgian has gone on to make 21 appearances for Southampton’s U18 side, scoring three goals and providing six assists, as well as making 37 appearances for Southampton’s B team, scoring eight goals and providing one assist across all competitions, showing how much of an attacking talent he is.
So far this season, Olaigbe has played 90 minutes in all of the Southampton B team’s nine league games so far this season in which he has managed to rack up three goals and one assist, with his latest appearance coming in their recent 1-0 win over Reading.
This shows just how important the winger is for the club’s B team and how highly thought of he is there, despite having yet to make a senior appearance for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
Looking ahead to the future, we think that if Olaigbe keeps performing regularly for Southampton’s B team and keeps racking up goals and assists on a regular basis, he could well break into the senior side at some point soon and go on to become a suitable, money-saving long-term replacement for Walcott if he ends up leaving the club when his contract expires.