Former England international Paul Robinson has claimed Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has suffered a blow after seeing Theo Walcott sidelined through injury.
Walcott limped off 26 minutes into our 3-1 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday having helped Bernard to open the scoring, when the 30-year-old delivered a perfectly weighted cross to the Brazilian for his second assist of the Premier League campaign.
Ancelotti stated after the match that he hopes the injury is nothing serious, though confirmed that Walcott would undergo scans as the club sought to asses the severity of his issue.
The boss has heavily leaned on Walcott since replacing Marco Silva in the Goodison Park dugout in December, with the £100,000-per-week forward opening six of the Italians’ eight top-flight fixtures in charge.
Ancelotti’s faith in Walcott meant the 47-cap ex-England star was on the field to score his first of the term in the 90th-minute to beat Watford earlier this month, and Robinson feels any time out injured will be a blow for both the player and manager.
“He’s got amongst the goals recently,” Robinson told Football Insider.
“He has been playing a lot better under Ancelotti, but yesterday he came off in the first half of the game so it’s obviously going to be a blow for him, and for the manager as well, because of the system that he plays.
“He fits in nicely on that right-hand side.”
Would Walcott be missed vs Arsenal?
Walcott has certainly been a key part of Ancelotti’s tactics since the former Chelsea and Real Madrid head coach arrived on Merseyside, but the 60-year-old will at least have the winter break to consider his options before deciding whom – if necessary – will face Arsenal on February 23 in place of the ex-Gunners wide man.
In the two games Walcott did not start, Ancelotti favoured Richarlison and Djibril Sidibe on the wing with the Brazilian starting alone on the right against Burnley and the French full-back given a more advanced role against Manchester City.
Ancelotti could return to such a style when we travel to the Emirates Stadium, which would offer Sidibe an opening to return to the starting XI following his omission at the weekend given the boss’ recent preference to deploy Richarlison through the centre.
Richarlison has started his last four league appearances as either a part of a two-man attacking line or in behind the striker, a move that has returned four of the 22-year-old’s nine goals for the top-flight season.