Theo Walcott will be announced as an Everton player as early as today after agreeing personal terms with the Toffees and passing a medical at Finch Farm.
The 28-year-old is poised to complete a £20 million transfer from Arsenal, where he’s spent the past 11 years after joining the Gunners as a highly-rated 16-year-old from Southampton.
Walcott leaves the Emirates Stadium having scored 108 goals in 397 appearances. Not a bad return for a player who was often deployed on the right wing and made many substitute appearances.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand summed up Walcott’s frustrating career nicely on BT Sport over the weekend.
He believes the England international has failed to live up to expectations and that he only has himself to blame for his shortcomings. (Click HERE to read Ferdinand’s quotes in full).
As Ferdinand said, there have been plenty of moments over the years when it looked as if the penny had finally dropped for Walcott.
One of those moments came in September 2016, when Walcott scored a brace in a 2-0 victory over FC Basel in the Champions League.
They were Walcott’s fourth and fifth goals from seven starts in all competitions during the opening weeks of the 2016-17 campaign and Arsenal fans were beginning to believe that the inconsistent winger was about to explode.
Keane dropped a truth bomb about Walcott after the match
Roy Keane, however, was having none of it.
The former Man Utd captain analysed the match for ITV Sport and brought Walcott back down to earth with a bump.
Given what’s happened since then and how Walcott’s career has panned out, it’s fair to say that Keane got it spot on at the time.
"It’s took him a while to get settled, hasn’t it?" Keane told ITV Sport.
"Listen, he’s had a good week, the guy needs to relax, try playing over the next seven, eight or nine months when the real big crunch games come and you’re on about looking at certain players for Arsenal.
"Tonight was a lovely game for Arsenal, when they have that much possession they are great to watch, they could have scored seven, eight, nine goals easily.
"But the crunch games are coming up over the next few months when the cold nights come on, we’ll see maybe half the Arsenal players with gloves on.
"So I wouldn’t be getting carried away with Walcott. He’s got a lot to do. Lovely goals tonight, simplicity, his movement, finishing – but he’s got to do it over the next year or two."
Although Keane was criticised by Arsenal fans for his comments at the time, the Irishman was right to urge caution.
Video: Keane on Walcott from 2016
Watch the video here...
Walcott will now attempt to resurrect his career at Everton
Walcott has failed to cement his status as a reliable performer for the Gunners since that night and now finds himself on Arsene Wenger’s axe list.
He will now bid to get his career back on track under Sam Allardyce at Goodison Park.
Arsenal fans: are you disappointed that Theo Walcott is leaving the club? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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