In Focus: Theo Walcott’s wage demands could jeopardise Southampton return

According to reports in The Express, Southampton are ready to spend up to £15m in January to bring out-of-favour Arsenal winger Theo Walcott back to the club he started his career with.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Express says that the Gunners are ready to sell Walcott in the New Year as Arsene Wenger looks to reshape his squad and bring in extra funds, with the 28-year-old finding himself on the fringes of the team so far this season.

The Express says that the north London outfit have no intention of extending the wide man’s current contract, which is due to run out at the end of next season, which has caught the attention of his former club.

Mauricio Pellegrino is looking to add to his firepower during the next transfer window with his team failing to score in 10 of their last 15 Premier League matches, and the Argentine is willing to spend £12-£15m to bring the attacker back to St Mary’s 12 years after he left.

How has Walcott done this season?

Despite scoring 19 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal last season, the 28-year-old has found himself well down the pecking order this term.

The winger is yet to start a Premier League game and has featured for just 46 minutes in total in the top flight, with the majority of his outings coming in the EFL Cup and the Europa League.

Walcott scored two in the 4-2 win against BATE Borisov in the latter previously and he has three goals and one assist in seven appearances in total so far this campaign.

Would he be a good Southampton signing?

He certainly would be.

While things perhaps haven’t worked out for the 28-year-old at Arsenal, he has the pace and finishing ability to improve a toothless Saints side and he may well thrive back at St Mary’s as he would be under less pressure and there would be less expectation on his shoulders.

The fact that he is fighting to reclaim his spot in the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup would also mean that he would know that he had to perform at a high standard.

What about his wages?

While the reported £12-£15m fee won’t be a problem for Southampton, the fact The Express says Walcott is currently earning £110,000-a-week at the Emirates certainly is.

Unless the 28-year-old is willing to drop those demands it seems unlikely that he will end up at Saints considering how the south coast outfit is currently run.