Southampton confirm permanent deal for Theo Walcott following Everton loan
Theo Walcott will be staying at Southampton permanently when his Everton contract expires next month, the club confirmed on Tuesday.
Walcott, 32, returned to St Mary’s Stadium, where he began his career in 2005, on loan from the Toffees for the season.
After impressing Ralph Hasenhuttl, he has earned the right to extend his second spell.
He has signed a two-year contract back on the South Coast, where he made history becoming the Saints’ youngest ever scorer before joining Arsenal as a 16-year-old in 2006.
Twelve years later, he moved to Goodison Park in a £20million deal but struggled to assert himself.
After initially signing for Sam Allardyce, Walcott fell down the pecking order under both Marco Silva and Carlo Ancelotti.
The likes of Alex Iwobi and Richarlison kept him out of the team originally, but he was forced to look elsewhere for regular first team action when James Rodriguez arrived last summer.
It was hoped that Ancelotti would be able to inspire Everton to a Champions League spot, but it looks as though they are going to miss out on European qualification completely.
Walcott ‘can’t wait’ to continue with Saints
The England international, who last played for his country in 2017, has been speaking about going back to where it all began permanently.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to the club, my teammates and the fans for making me feel so welcome back here, and I can’t wait to continue pulling on the shirt in the next couple of seasons,” he said.
“Hopefully in that time we can make a few more special memories too.
“I would also like to say thank you to everyone at Everton, who have been so good to me throughout my time with the club, and I wish them every success in the future.”