Two Premier League clubs are prepared to pay ridiculous money for Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott's time at Arsenal appears to be coming to an end.
It may seem surprising now, but Arsene Wenger was once ruthless when it came to moving players out of Arsenal. Patrick Vieira was allowed leave for Juventus in 2005, just a few weeks after he had turned 29. The French midfielder had been Arsenal captain, and an important figure in the dressing room, who still had a few years left at the top level to offer the club. Two years later, Thierry Henry, the club's all-time top goal scorer, left for Barcelona, and Wenger formed a new strike-force with Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor.
The Arsenal manager wasn't afraid to let players go. Yet, over the last few years, Wenger seems to have lost that ruthless edge. He has kept some players at the club long after they have proven to be unworthy of his loyalty. Like, for example, Walcott.
However, it looks like he may have rediscovered his ruthless touch. On Wednesday, Francis Coquelin was allowed join Valencia in a deal worth £12m, and it appears as though Walcott could soon follow him out of the exit door. According to The Telegraph, Southampton and Everton want to sign him, and are prepared to pay Arsenal £20m for the player, and Walcott wages of £110,000 a week. The Toffees are reportedly favourites to sign the winger this month, ahead of his old club Southampton.
According to Sam Wallace, writing in The Telegraph, "Southampton see real untapped potential in Walcott and are confident that they could reignite his career."
They see "untapped potential" in a player about to turn 29? Walcott can't get a game for Arsenal ahead of Alex Iwobi, and any talk of him potentially becoming a good player should have ended a very long time ago. The winger arguably embodies the second half of Wenger's reign as Arsenal manager - promising, but lacking an end product, ineffective and going no-where fast.
As Premier League clubs get richer, transfer fees will inevitably rise. But is Walcott worth £20m in any market? He still plays with his head down, he rushes shots and doesn't have a dependable first-touch. He appears to make numerous poor decisions in a game and gets caught offside a lot. He also has no sell-on value. Maybe Walcott will turn his career around at either Everton or Southampton, but it's difficult to justify paying so much for the player, even in the current market. Surely there are better ways for both clubs to spend that money?