Everton forward Theo Walcott was predicted to develop into an English phenomenon when he joined Arsenal from Southampton in 2006. His career has been marred by inconsistency and injury, but he’s been given a new lease of life at Goodison Park and is flourishing in his new chapter.
In 2006, Sven Goran-Eriksson hurled him into the spotlight when he chose him as a surprise selection for the World Cup finals in Germany. Walcott was only 16 years of age and had just completed his first season with Southampton in the Championship.
The call-up made headlines and Walcott’s reputation skyrocketed in the build up to the tournament. He didn’t obtain any game time in Germany, but Arsene Wenger was captivated by the young sensation and tempted him join to Arsenal following the World Cup finals.
Walcott was expected to become a crucial figure for the future at the Emirates Stadium, but his debut season ended without silverware or a single goal. Arsenal supporters convinced themselves that Walcott would eventually blossom, but injuries and a variation in form left them discouraged.
His most prominent period at Arsenal began at the beginning of 2010/11 campaign. He reached double figures in three successive seasons and amassed 45 goals between 2010 and 2013.
Injuries persisted to halt his progress and his Arsenal career began to dwindle towards the end. He temporarily rose from the ground during the 2016/17 season by scoring 19 goals in all competitions, but Arsenal were unwilling to make him a focal point of the attack and he used his own initiative to move elsewhere in January 2018.
The New Chapter at Everton
Numerous players have been reluctant to leave Arsenal under Arsene Wenger and Theo Walcott slipped into the category of players satisfied to remain in their comfort zone.
However, it soon became apparent that he was unable to fulfil his potential in North London. He’d lost his place in the England National Team and required a new lease of life to revive his declining career.
Everton had just suffered three successive defeats in the Premier League prior to his arrival. They were struggling for goals and needed an injection of pace and creativity in the final third, after notching up only 25 league goals.
Walcott made an instantaneous impact on his debut by assisting Oumar Niasse in a 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion. He completed the second half of the season at Everton with three goals and three assists and played an influential role in guiding them to an 8th place finish.
Marco Silva signed his former Watford colleague Richarlison during the summer transfer window for a fee of £50 million. The arrival of the Brazilian could’ve planted a seed of doubt in Walcott’s mind as to whether he’d play regularly this season.
However, Silva has placed all his worries behind him by featuring him in all of their opening four league matches. Everton have enjoyed a promising start to the season with a record of one win and three draws and Walcott has nearly equalled his tally for last season with two goals in four appearances.
Gareth Southgate has rightfully left Walcott out of the England squad once again, but he may have the chance to add to his 47 caps if he can sustain his level of performance at Goodison Park.
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