BBC pundit and former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan has slammed Theo Walcott in a recent interview with Football Insider, and he’s not wrong.
The BBC Radio Leeds commentator described the former England ace as a “huge disappointment”, and suggested we should have seen a lot more from the winger before Marco Silva eventually benched him for his sub-par efforts.
Since completing his £20million move, and signing a three-year £100,000-a-week deal at the start of 2018, Walcott has only managed to score on seven occasions, while creating a further five, in 50 appearances.
He was never that prolific in North London, as injuries regularly plagued his time at the Emirates, but the former Arsenal star should have been able to make more of a difference on Merseyside, at least in creating goal scoring chances.
So far this season, Walcott has only managed to create 21 clear chances during his 33 Premier League outings, and only one of those has gone down as a ‘long’ key pass. Even worse, from those 21 key passes, only two have resulted in a goal.
That’s a considerable drop off from last season, where the 30-year-old had managed to at least create one key pass a game for us, and his one long key pass came from far fewer appearances.
During his final season with the Gunners, as well, Walcott had managed to be more creative at the top of the pitch, as he played ten key balls in the Europa League alone, despite only making five appearances in the competition.
So when Whelan says Walcott has been a “huge disappointment” with us, he’s not wrong.
“Everton fans must have been blown away when they signed him last year, he seemed the ideal fit to provide pace and penetration from out wide,” Whelan said. “But he hasn’t really done anything at Everton and has been a huge disappointment so far.
“You look at him, and he should still be a big threat in the Premier League. He still has more pace than most 21-year-olds, and he’ll always have than blistering speed, maybe lose half a yard over the next few years.
“But his end product is not great. His finishing can be better, and his assist ratio needs to improve. Sometimes, you think, ‘What happened to him?”
Having started our first 14 Premier League games under Silva, Walcott has not kicked-off a top-flight match since March 3, and has played a combined 33 minutes from the five games played after.