It was a phenomenal end to the campaign for Everton, wasn’t it? Despite missing out on a European place, they can be hugely encouraged by a series of fine performances, including wins against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal. Phew, thank you for that. So, here, in our It’s a big season for feature, we’ll be taking a look as to why the upcoming campaign is so important for one man in question.
Next season should be very interesting, with the Toffees, Wolves and Leicester surely all looking to improve on promising campaigns and launch an assault on any one of the top six who fancy messing up. But, while it’s a significant season for the club as a whole, on an individual level it’s also very important for one man in particular – Theo Walcott.
After largely becoming a bit-part player at Arsenal, he has now started to suffer a similar fate at Goodison Park. Well, while the forward did indeed feature in 37 league games this season, 13 of them were as a substitute. Indeed, this is a drastic decline from last season, where after his £20m January move (as per BBC Sport), Walcott featured 14 times, only once coming off the bench.
Frankly, the reasons behind this are fairly obvious – he’s only managed eight goals and five assists in that time.
Walcott simply hasn’t been able to perform on a consistent basis and has suffered the consequences. Yet, now at the age of 30-years-old, the Englishman is running out of time. Entirely out of the Three Lions frame and lost in that proverbial international wilderness, it’s becoming a case of now or never for the man who once promised so much.
When you consider the fact that the club have been linked (as per L’Equipe via Sport Witness) with Nice’s exciting Allan Saint-Maxim, perhaps life could get even more difficult for the former Southampton prodigy.
This season has seen both Bernard and Richarlison move ahead of Walcott in the pecking order and it now seems a tough ask to break back into the team, which makes next season vastly significant. He is one of the highest earners at the club on £100,000-a-week (as per Spotrac) and that figure will look even more galling if such little return continues to come from him.
But where does he go from here? Yes, Walcott is a decent finisher but his outstanding attribute has always been his pace, something that may well decline as he gets older. Right now, there is still a role for Walcott to play at Everton but he will have to make his opportunities count.
Everton fans, do you feel Walcott still has a part to play at Everton? Is he good enough to regain a place in the starting lineup? Or is he more a useful squad member?