New Southampton signing Theo Walcott has discussed his excitement to be back at his former club, even if it’s only for the short-term. The Everton winger has penned a one-year loan deal with the Saints, making himself part of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s project to see his side climb the Premier League table.
Speaking to Hampshire Live, Walcott admitted that when news of the potential move came through, he was on board straight away.
“As soon I heard about it I said: ‘This had to happen, this needs to happen. I really want this to happen,'” he said. “Carlo [Ancelotti], Marcel [Brands] and myself have a really good relationship where we can get things sorted and they helped to make it happen in the end which I was really grateful for.”
Now 31, Walcott could be entering the final years of his professional career. His most recent season with Everton saw him become more of a fringe player than he would have perhaps wanted. The winger made just 29 appearances across all competitions and missed a total of 13 Premier League matches (via Transfermarkt).
Ancelotti recruited well this summer and has so far spearheaded the Toffees to a perfect start to the season. Key attacking players Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be untouchable, meaning there’s little room at the inn for Walcott. If the Italian decides the former England international is surplus to Everton’s needs, he could hope for a permanent move to the south coast, especially when you consider how keen he was to make the initial loan move happen judging by his recent quotes.
It certainly seems like a plausible deal, with Hasenhuttl already making it clear that he’s an admirer of Walcott’s.
“There is a lot of history between this club and Theo, so I know how special this will be for him and for our supporters,” the Southampton boss told Hampshire Live after the player signed. “But what is most important to me is that we have signed a player who can help our squad and give us another strong option in our attack.”
Hasenhuttl went on to discuss the other benefits of having Walcott in the squad, including helping to integrate the young talents into the first team. As a three-time FA Cup winner – who spent an astonishing 12 years with Arsenal – the forward has a lot of seniority and knowledge to implement into the team. Bringing him to the club full-time is definitely an option Hasenhuttl and co should be considering next year.