Everton have confirmed the signing of Arsenal’s Theo Walcott for a fee in the region of £20m on a 3-and-a-half year deal worth in excess of £100,000 per week.
The 28-year-old becomes Everton’s second signing of the January window after striker Cenk Tosun’s arrival from Besiktas.
Walcott could make his debut in Saturday’s game against West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park, with the Blues yet to register a single shot on goal in the Premier League in 2018.
| Welcome to your new home… pic.twitter.com/7Okf2ItZUv— Everton (@Everton) January 17, 2018
Walcott scored 108 goals in 397 appearances for Arsenal since joining from Southampton in 2006, a prolific scoring rate accentuated by the Gunners’ attacking style.
The Saints were reportedly keen on re-signing Walcott this month along with West Ham, but Everton are believed to have offered a greater financial package.
Walcott has cut a frustrated figure at the Emirates this season, making just 16 appearances in all competitions and failing to start a single Premier League game.
The forward was therefore attracted by the opportunity to revive his career at Goodison Park with the 2018 World Cup in Russia this summer looming.
Speaking to the club website, Walcott said:
I’m very ambitious and I’ve come here because I want the Club to push to the next level.
And with the players that have come in, I feel like the next level can be reached.
I’m very excited to be starting a new chapter and I felt this was the right place for me to be.
The manager is very ambitious and I feel like the Club is going in the right direction.
Everton is a club with a great history. The fans are always passionate, they’re great and I always used to find it very tough playing here.
The Club has won trophies but I want them to win trophies now. The manager is very hungry and it’s just what I need. I’ve had a couple of chats with him and straightaway I felt that hunger and that desire that he wanted from me. I need that and I wanted that.
Everton manager Sam Allardyce spoke last week about the potential of signing Walcott:
He knows me, he knows Sammy [Lee], he knows Craig [Shakespeare] and he knows Martyn [Margetson, Everton’s former England goalkeeping coach].
He knows us and I think we can deliver a new stadium in his time here. The club is moving forward in the right direction. The overall future of the club is why I am here because the future looks good. I have to balance that progress off the field with progress on it.
At this moment in time he is the right age with the right experience to make an impact on Everton Football Club. He is the prime age for a player in today’s Premier League world and because of all the experience and knowledge he has gained he should be at the peak of his career.
Walcott’s arrival has been met with a mixed reception by the Everton supporters. Some question whether Everton need another forward player while other areas of the squad look thin (cough, cough LEFT BACK, cough cough).
Others argue Walcott will bring some much-needed pace and creativity to a frontline that has struggled to create many chances in recent weeks. Ironically, his first start in the Premier League this season at the Emirates could be against Arsenal at the Emirates in just over a fortnight.
He certainly represents an upgrade on Kevin Mirallas, who departed on loan to Olympiakos last week. A lot will no depend on his attitude and desire to make a success of his move to Merseyside and reignite a stalled career.
Welcome to Everton, Theo!