Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has praised Everton winger Theo Walcott for an ‘absolutely huge‘ impact away to Watford despite his seemingly unimpressive goal return in recent seasons.
The former England international, who has bagged just nine league goals in 69 outings for the club since putting pen to paper on a deal from Arsenal in 2018, wasn’t doing much to impress supporters this season either – racking up just one assist all campaign before his dramatic injury-time winner during the Toffees’ comeback win at Vicarage Road. By comparison, fellow winger Bernard has also bettered his overall stats from out wide – averaging a higher amount of key passes (1.1) and dribbles (1.3) per game in the league, as per WhoScored.com. However, according to Whelan, the 30-year-old’s brilliant impact last Saturday could be the key to unlocking better form.
“Huge. Absolutely huge. To be 2-0 down and later a man down but go on to win the game shows a massive belief and character in the dressing room,” explained the pundit.
“Walcott stepping up at the end and grabbing the winning goal – I think he desperately needed it to be honest. He needed that confidence and belief in his own game and hopefully, he will get that from scoring the winning goal.
“It is nice to see him back on the scoresheet. A player of his ability should be at least seven goals in at this stage of the season.”
Whether or not the former Arsenal man steps up to the plate as a result of his heroics is a different story, but one thing is for certain, the dramatic winner is a major upturn in his season so far and, as per the Sun, former manager Arsene Wenger described him as a ‘confidence player’, so it could provide a boost going forward – as Whelan predicts.
Everton fans, do you predict a strong finish to the season from Walcott? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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