Theo Walcott has signed for Everton in a deal believed to be worth in excess of £20m.
The 28-year-old joined Arsenal from Southampton in January 2006, aged just 16. Although he had yet to even play a first team game for the club, such was the hype around him that Sven Goran Eriksson included him in the England squad for the World Cup that summer – Walcott did not make an appearance at the tournament however.
He made his Arsenal debut as a 73rd-minute substitute on the opening day of the 2006-07 season when the Gunners drew 1-1 with Aston Villa in the first ever game at the Emirates Stadium.
Since then he’s gone on to make 399 appearances for the club, scoring 108 goals, including the opener in the 2015 FA Cup final win over Aston Villa at Wembley.
This season, however, he’s been very much on the fringes of the first team, barely featuring at all in the Premier League, and with a World Cup to place to play for this summer a move to get regular football makes perfect sense both him and for Arsenal.
His final appearance came in Sunday’s disappointing 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth when he was introduced as a late replacement for Alex Iwobi, but was unable to mark the occasion with one last goal.
He was a frustrating player, one perhaps emblematic of the second half of Arsene Wenger’s reign – moments of genuine excitement and quality but ultimately potential not fully realised – but he did score some excellent goals for us down the years, and best of luck to him at Everton (except when he plays us on 3 February).