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Rio Ferdinand drops brutally honest opinion about Everton-bound Theo Walcott

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By the time you read this, Theo Walcott might already be an Everton player.

At the time of writing, the 28-year-old is undergoing a medical at the Toffees’ Finch Farm training ground ahead of a £20 million move from Arsenal.

After 11 years as a Gunner, Walcott is leaving the north London outfit for a new challenge as he bids to get his career back on track.

In 397 appearances for Arsenal, the club he joined as a 16-year-old back in January 2006, Walcott scored 108 goals.

The club’s supporters are currently in the process of thanking Walcott via social media for his efforts over the past decade and will always hold a soft spot for the winger - despite the fact he could be hugely frustrating to watch at times.

Rio Ferdinand drops truth bomb about Walcott

Rio Ferdinand was asked about Walcott at the weekend, ahead of the England international’s move to Goodison Park, and the former Manchester United star delivered a brutally honest assessment of the player’s career.

“He burst onto the scene and everyone was talking about his potential and rightly so - but, for me, I don’t think he’s fulfilled that potential,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport. “He should have been going into this Arsenal team and being a mainstay, taking over the mantle as the go-to guy with the ability, the pace, the power, how direct he was.

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“I don’t think he evolved as well as his potential suggested.

“There was always that muted ‘I want to be a centre-forward rather than a winger’ and that never materialised and you can only look at yourself in them situations.”

Ferdinand: Enough belief was shown in Walcott

Asked by Jermaine Jenas if Arsene Wenger really believed in him enough, Ferdinand continued: “I think he had belief in him - and he had belief in him to fulfil the potential - but I just don’t think he ever did that.

“He scored some important goals here and there but when you’re looking to become a top-level player, consistency is key. The players in your team then look to you in certain situations - to win big games - and he never really done that.

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“For the likes of [Alexis] Sanchez and [Mesut[ Ozil to come in and take over the mantle, as a player you’d take that as a hit on your pride.

“It frustrates you because he’s got all the tools to become a game-changer at the top level because of the pace he possesses, he can take any defender out of the game. But it’s them same mistakes in terms of identified the right time to make runs, the timing, then the decision making once you get in - that’s a winger’s bread and butter.”

Rio: What I want to see from Walcott at Everton

Asked what he wants to see from Walcott at Everton, Ferdinand added: “Definitely decision making, be more decisive in that area. But also the runs and being direct.

“There were times in his Arsenal career when you think ‘the penny’s dropped - he’s on it’ and then, all of a sudden, he’s out of the team again through performances or whatnot.

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“The level of consistency to go into a big team, push on and really show people this is why I went on the plane early to a World Cup. This is why I was in the England squad so early. This is why I was in the team at Southampton at 16.

“He promised so much.

“This is the perfect opportunity for him now to come out of the shadows at Arsenal and go into a team like Everton and try and take the mantle and responsibility of being the team’s star player because he promised that so often for Arsenal and never really delivered that on a consistent basis.”

Video: Ferdinand gives his verdict on Walcott

Watch Ferdinand give his thoughts on Walcott here…

It's hard to argue with Ferdinand

In fairness, it’s hard to argue with any of what Ferdinand says.

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But did the rest of us overrated Walcott? Was he never actually *that* great in the first place? Or did he have all the talent in the world but fail to fulfil it?

Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below…

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