Saturday, October 1, 2022

Southampton Eyeing A Loan Move For This Everton Winger: Is He The Right Choice For The Saints?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, The Sun has stated that Southampton are eyeing a loan move for Everton winger Theo Walcott before tonight’s transfer deadline. It is understood that the Saints are hoping to re-sign the English speedster with Ralph Hasenhuttl trying to get a deal done to bring him back to the St. Mary’s Stadium in the final hours of this transfer window (via The Sun).

Walcott’s Underwhelming Spell At Goodison Park Thus Far

The 31-year-old has made two appearances for the Toffees but is still waiting to score or assist his first goal of this campaign. Walcott was also a sporadic presence in Everton’s squad last season when he struggled to be productive in the final third. The London-born wide player was involved in 29 matches for the Merseyside outfit in the last term, registering two goals and four assists in various competitions.

Walcott failed to discover consistency with his all-round contributions down the right flank after averaging 1.2 shots, 0.8 key passes and 0.7 dribbles per game in the Premier League. The ex-Arsenal attacker was even very sloppy when distributing possession in the opposition half as evident from his poor pass completion rate of 68.9% in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).

The 47-time England international needs to secure regular first-team opportunities soon if he wants to make the most out of his time left in the English first division. At 31, Walcott is not getting any younger, so he has to find a way to remain fit and be more productive with his overall contributions as a right-sided winger.

Southampton eyeing a loan move for Theo Walcott who is celebrating in the picture
Theo Walcott of Everton celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Everton FC at Vicarage Road on February 01, 2020, in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

What Are The England International’s Best Attributes?

Despite losing a yard of pace from his game, Walcott can still make some quick runs down the right flank and is usually a hard man to catch when he is dribbling at top speed in the final third. He is also not afraid to have a pop at goal when given time and space in and around the opposition penalty area.

However, his lack of productivity in recent seasons will be a massive worry for the Saints with the English wide player often coming up short in front of the opposition goal. He can sometimes go missing in specific matches which is why he is nowhere near close to becoming a regular first-team starter under Carlo Ancelotti’s stewardship.

Is Walcott The Right Choice For The Saints?

Southampton have currently got Stuart Armstrong, Nathan Redmond and Moussa Djenepo fighting for a spot on the flanks in Hasenhuttl’s starting XI. Therefore, the side from the south coast of England can benefit from adding a natural winger like Walcott as he would offer more pace and variety to their attack.

The English playmaker can also flourish playing in Hasenhuttl’s counter-pressing style of football as his quickness could give him the edge in the race to feature in the right-wing position at the St. Mary’s Stadium this season. All in all, Walcott could prove to be a decent choice for Southampton but only if Hasenhuttl is confident that he can get the best out of him over the next few years.

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