Needing no real introduction to Southampton fans, get the lowdown on Theo Walcott as the attacker returns to St Mary’s.
The 31-year-old former Academy graduate is back where it all began, having joined on a season-long loan from Everton.
Having left Hampshire as a teenager, Walcott returns as an experienced figure, boasting 347 Premier League appearances and no fewer than 47 England caps.
But a highly commendable career to date started by becoming the youngest-ever player to take to the field for Southampton in a competitive fixture, aged just 16 years and 143 days when introduced against Wolves in 2005.
Following that up by becoming the club’s youngest-ever goal scorer a month later, his electric pace and attacking prowess led to him becoming one of the hottest prospects in world football, attracting subsequent interest.
Lighting up the Championship with Saints, his January 2006 move to Arsenal confirmed Walcott’s legacy as a shining beacon of the club’s prestigious Academy, earning comparison at The Emirates to Thierry Henry for his attacking style.
Marking his 12-year stay as a Gunner with two FA Cup and two Community Shield winners’ medals, he bolstered his statistics with 108 goals in all competitions.
Becoming a household name in the top tier, his versatility by being able to play anywhere across the front three saw him often entrusted by Arsène Wenger, with Lionel Messi in 2010 referring to Walcott as “one of the most dangerous players” he has ever faced.
Ending his stay in North London with 397 appearances in total, Walcott moved to Merseyside in January 2018 at a time when he was also linked with a move back to Southampton.
Making a dream start to life at Everton, he assisted Oumar Niasse on his debut before netting a brace in the following 2-0 win over Leicester.
With injuries disturbing his early form, Walcott has gone on to make 85 appearances for the Toffees, with the attacker now making the romantic homecoming to St Mary’s.