Next up in our player by player review of the past Everton season, in which each individual will be recapped and rated is: Theo Walcott.
The 2018-19 season for Walcott was one of ups and downs for the 30-year-old Englishman. He began the season as the starting right winger with a few others breathing down his back for a starting role. Nonetheless, he took advantage at the start of the year scoring twice in the first three and adding an assist against Southampton on the way to a 2-1 win. Then came the bumps.
The forward did not score again until December when he knocked in the first goal of what ended up being an awful rout at home to Tottenham Hotspur and a game many would like to forget. It was a rough stretch of substitute appearances from there as the winger could not fall back into form before the end of the season. He did manage another two goals, including one in the season finale against Spurs (not a surprise the former Arsenal man likes to score against their North London rivals), but had a largely disappointing campaign for someone who is heading towards the back-end of his career.
Walcott did manage to score 5 Premier League goals on the season, which ranked 4th on the team in that category, but I think that says more about the Everton team than it does the English winger. While converting only 15% of his chances, Walcott put in inconsistent performances week in and week out while not providing much distribution wise from the right wing, which ended up costing him in the end.
His haul during the 2017-18 season of 7 goals and 8 assists in ten fewer games was sorely missed, and at 30 that is unlikely to improve going forward.
Walcott appeared in 37 matches over the course of the Premier League year, starting in 24 of them. While it seems like a decent amount, the winger made only 5 starts in his last 16 games, eventually losing his spot to a Richarlison and Bernard combo that came on in full force towards the end of the season.
Silva’s gameplan involved using Richarlison and Walcott as the ‘scoring wingers’ on the right side, while the left-sided winger was charged with build-up play and creating chances, with Bernard and Ademola Lookman charged with that responsibility.
Fans’ biggest criticism of Walcott remained the same as last season, whereby he got into good scoring positions but continued to fail to score from those chances - reflected in his xG number of 6.51, which shows that he underperformed by 1.51 goals, a number matched by his fellow wingers Bernard and Lookman.
Walcott isn’t exactly locked in as an Everton player next season. With his age now in the 30s and his high wages, he doesn’t fit the plan that Marcel Brands and Marco Silva seemingly have for this team. At the same time, though, the Everton winger situation is a bit light with some of their players, namely Ademola Lookman, possibly on their way out.
The veteran forward is under contract at EFC until 2021 and there have been no reputable links in regards to a move away, but the club have been linked with Bertrand Traore and Cengiz Under in recent days, both of whom would be an upgrade at the position.
Considering that Richarlison bagged 13 goals playing from the same position, this does not reflect well on Walcott and he is likely to be replaced at the Blues.