Southampton have secured the signing of Premier League veteran Theo Walcott on a one-year loan deal. The former England international will return to his former club for the season after being ousted from Everton’s revamped senior lineup.
The Saints wasted no time in getting the deal over the line after Paul Joyce originally reported their interest on Monday morning. Talks then rapidly developed and Walcott will help boost Southampton up the table as they look to build on their 11th place finish last season.
Southampton struck gold when they signed Danny Ings last summer for a fee of £20million (via BBC Sport). Since joining the south coast side, he has transformed their attack and poses a real threat as one of the most prolific goal scorers in the league. But Ings can only put away the chances being given to him and this is where the Saints could do with some improvements.
Prior to deadline day, Ralph Hasenhuttl had just one senior right winger on his books in the form of 21-year-old Nathan Tella, who recently made the transition from youth football to senior level. Walcott – who has been starved of minutes over on Merseyside – will relish the chance to show his worth alongside his fellow England international.
His form has dipped a little since his peak at Arsenal, but he still has a lot left in him to resurrect his impressive numbers. In the 2016/17 campaign, Walcott bagged a total of 19 goals across all competitions for the Gunners, but his most impressive return was in 2012/13, with a tally of 21 goals and 16 assists (via Transfermarkt).
With more than a decade of Premier League experience and his personal connection to the club, the 31-year-old will bring experience in abundance and the hunger to become a first team starter again. Walcott, who is valued at £10.8m, can provide a different attacking prowess to the likes of Nathan Redmond and Che Adams. His natural ability makes him a more proven finisher with a better eye for setting up goals, whist he is able to play anywhere across the front three.
Southampton have bagged two wins out of four already but have scored just five goals. Walcott’s pace and vision to set up star man Ings will surely change this as the weeks roll out.