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Southampton: Walcott has burnt a wage at St Mary’s

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s decision to bring Theo Walcott back to Southampton on a permanent basis has massively backfired, as he is burning a wage with the Saints.

The experienced winger originally joined the Saints on loan from Everton for the 2020/21 campaign, in what was a homecoming for the former Arsenal man after he began his career at St Mary’s.

However, it soon became clear that Hasenhuttl was thinking with his heart rather than his head when bringing Walcott back, as he has struggled immensely in his time at the club.

During a loan spell, the 33-year-old would manage three goals and three assists in 21 Premier League appearances, averaging a solid, if unspectacular, 6.56 rating from WhoScored for his performances.

This was enough to convince Hasenhuttl that he was worth signing on a permanent basis, as he joined on a free transfer from Everton in the summer of 2021 but it seems as if that was done for sentimental purposes, as he has made just ten Premier League appearances since then.

Should Walcott have been brought back?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Walcott’s role as a bit-part player and someone who is perhaps slowly transitioning into more of a coach and influencer in the dressing room would perhaps be justifiable if it weren’t for the huge wage he earns in comparison to the rest of the squad.

According to Capology, the former England international earns £75k-per-week at St Mary’s, which remarkably makes him the top earner at the club.

Considering Walcott’s first and only appearance in the Premier League this season came last weekend against his former club Arsenal, it is impossible to justify Hasenhuttl’s decision to bring him back and hand him such a large contract, as his form on loan hardly justified that.

As the winger has been at Southampton on a permanent basis for 69 weeks, as his move became permanent on the 1st of July 2021, the Saints have paid out £5,175,000 in wages for a player that has barely featured.

It is clear that the veteran Englishman is not going to play much of a part this season so Hasenhuttl must look to move him on in January or risk wasting even more money on his wages, only for him to sit on the bench.

Article title: Southampton: Walcott has burnt a wage at St Mary’s

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