Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has delivered his verdict on his former teammate Theo Walcott’s performances for Southampton this season.
The Englishman played close to 400 games for us and scored over 100 goals. He was an integral part of our side for years, but injuries had a huge impact on his final few years at the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger and ex-CEO Ivan Gazidis negotiated a deal with Everton and sold Walcott for £20 million. (BBC) That was a solid bit business back then and it was the right time for the pacey winger to move on.
Sadly, his time at Everton was a poor one. He scored just 11 times in 85 appearances for them and Carlo Ancelotti decided to send him out on loan to Southampton at the start of the season.
Walcott has had an excellent season so far. He only has two goals and two assists to his name, but he has been a constant threat and his goal against us at the Emirates earlier this season showed exactly that.
Arteta has always been a big fan of Walcott. He knows him very well from his playing days here and he believes that the Englishman is looking really good now.
Arteta: Walcott’s finishing has improved a lot
He told Arsenal.com: “Well I think he looks really good, that’s for sure. He’s played a lot of minutes, he scored against us – a very typical Theo Walcott goal – when he played at the Emirates.”
“He was a team-mate of mine, a great lad and I’m happy he’s doing well because he’s gone through some difficult periods with some really bad injuries as well, he deserves this. He always wanted to be (a striker), he likes to be very close to the goal all the time, threatening in behind.”
“I think he improved his finishing a lot in the last year and his goal record improved a lot. Arsène used to do a lot of work with him when he was here and he always defined him as a player with great timing of his movement and the arrival in the box. It’s true.”