11 years after Arsenal paid Southampton £12.5 million for the signature of a fresh faced 16-year-old (BBC), the brutal truth is that Theo Walcott has not, and will never become, the ‘new Thierry Henry’.
At the age of 28, confusion still reigns about Walcott’s best position. In 13 seasons with The Gunners, the one-time wonderkid has only ever reached double figures in the Premier League on two occasions.
Even Walcott himself does not seem to know. After years clamouring for a chance to lead the line, the England international told The Mail last year that he was focused on securing his place on the right hand side of Arsenal’s attack.
In recent months, however, he hasn’t even managed that. Walcott has never been further down the pecking order at Arsenal, featuring only three times off the bench for a grand total of 47 minutes in the Premier League this season.
Reports in The Sun that Arsenal could sell to the highest bidder in January, therefore, don’t come as a huge surprise. Although, a mid-season move to Everton, rather than West Ham or former club Southampton, would seem the ideal switch to kick-start a stalling career.
New club, new Theo?
After all, Everton may offer Walcott the chance to finally prove that he is, after all, a centre-forward capable of scoring 20 goals a season. Thanks to the departure of Romelu Lukaku and The Toffees’ high-profile failure to bring in adequate attacking reinforcements, Ronald Koeman’s side have scored just four league goals all season and are crying out for a striker in January.
Could Walcott be that man? The last time he played regularly in a central attacking position, the 2012/13 season, Walcott scored a career-best 21 goals in all competitions. His lightning pace even a year-and-a-half from his 30th birthday while his underrated finishing ability and well-timed runs could finally get the best out of Everton’s array of gifted playmakers.
At Everton, Walcott could become the player he’s always dreamed of.