Everton completed the signing of forward Theo Walcott yesterday as Sam Allardyce looks to energize an otherwise insipid attack that has struggled to create and finish chances in recent weeks.
Walcott, 28, signed a three-and-a-half year deal after spending twelve years with Arsenal where he picked up 108 goals and 78 assists in 399 games primarily from the right wing position.
Speaking to evertonfc.com after the signing was made official, club captain Phil Jagielka sounded happy he wouldn’t have to come up against Walcott outside of training at Finch Farm.
“He’ll bring experience, quality, pace and goals. I’ve played with him a lot for England and he’s definitely a match-winner - he can change games. I’ve played against him, too, and he’s a difficult opponent.
“When you come up against someone who’s physically better it gives you a challenge - and when you come up against someone who’s particularly quick, that gives you a different challenge.
“For us, it’s about giving our opponents as many little headaches as possible. Theo is fast but also clever - he times his runs well and he ends up in the right place at the right time. It’s not nice to play against and it keeps you on your toes as a defender but thankfully it’s not my problem other than in training any more!”
Walcott’s record against the Blues wasn’t necessarily the best, with two goals and an assist in twelve appearances with six wins.
“His stats certainly stack up over the test of time. He’s been at Arsenal for a long time, he’s progressed, he’s added goals to his game over the course of the last few years, and he’s had some great seasons where it seemed like every time Arsenal scored he was involved somehow.
“He’s a great guy as well, I’ve known him a long time now and he’ll settle in really easily and hopefully become a fans’ favourite and a hit as soon as possible. We’re excited to get him in and he can bring us a bit more of an attacking threat and it’s nice we’ve bolstered our attacking options again.
“We’ve got a couple of wingers already here, a couple of strikers, and Theo can obviously play in both of those positions. The type of player Theo is and the type of person he is, he’s got high standards and he’ll want to come here and perform straight away.
“The good thing is he’s fit, so we can get him here, get him on the training pitch, get our team together and have a good crack and see how many points we can get in the final months of the season.”
Let’s start with getting a shot on goal on Saturday, and go from there. Baby steps.