During the match, Walcott, who is currently earning a weekly wage of £75k-per week, the highest of any Southampton player according to Spotrac, had very little impact on the game in an attacking sense for the Saints.
Before being replaced at halftime by Ibrahima Diallo, the winger had just 17 touches of the ball, failed to have any shots on target and missed one big chance, ultimately earning himself a rather uninspiring overall match rating of 6.6/10 according to SofaScore. Furthermore, he could only manage a measly nine passes.
What made his outing even worse was the surprising nature of Walcott’s selection. Southampton writer Glen de la Cour noted: “I was absolutely stunned that Walcott came straight back into the team.”
Early in his playing career, Walcott worked his way through Southampton’s youth academy before making his senior debut for the club in August 2005 in a 0-0 draw against Wolves in the Championship under former Saints boss Harry Redknapp.
The speedster then left the club for a move to Arsenal in January 2006 before eventually returning on a loan deal from Everton in October last year and ultimately signing back to the Saints on a free transfer during the recent summer transfer window.
Overall, the 32-year-old, who is currently valued at £4.5m according to Transfermarkt, has made a total of 50 appearances for the Saints across all competitions, bagging eight goals and providing three assists along the way.
Moving forward, with Southampton set to take on Leeds United in their next league fixture after the international break, we feel that Hasenhuttl would be better off dropping Walcott for this game and perhaps start Mohamed Elyounoussi instead.
The Norwegian has more game time under his belt this season having played 90 minutes on four occasions in the league.
However, with Southampton having failed to score a goal in three of the four games that Elyounoussi has played the full 90 minutes in, this could potentially put some doubt in Hasenhuttl’s mind as to which winger he decides to start against Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
With that in mind, we feel that Walcott didn’t do enough in the Chelsea match to show he should be starting against Leeds.