The odds on Theo Walcott making a move to Southampton have been slashed this evening with Sky Bet making the Saints 11/10 favourites to sign the 28-year-old when the transfer window opens in January.
The speculation is being driven by the fact the Saints are about to find themselves £75 million richer thanks to the sale of Virgil van Dyck to Liverpool. It was confirmed this evening that the Dutch defender will move to Anfield next week in a record-breaking deal for a defender.
Walcott has been linked with West Ham United and Watford in recent weeks but it’s the intriguing possibility of a return to Saint Mary’s that has most excited the bookmakers.
The England international swapped Southampton for Arsenal as a 16-year-old in 2006 and has since scored over 100 goals in just short of 400 appearances. His first team opportunities have been limited this term with Arsene Wenger preferring to use the attacker in the Carabao Cup and Europa League.
Walcott, who is under contract until 2019, has remained silent on the subject of his future even though he’s also fallen out of favour at international level in recent years. For his part, Arsene Wenger insists his protégé does have a future at the Emirates.
A return to Southampton is certainly one for the romantics and, on many levels, it makes sense. Mauricio Pellegrino’s are in desperate need of some pace, they’ve got the money to cope with signing Walcott and to pay his big wages. Moreover, they can probably offer him far more minutes than Arsenal where his career has stagnated recently.
It does feel like Theo’s time as a Gunner will be up soon. We’ll keep an eye on this one…