Veteran Everton winger Theo Walcott could leave the Toffees, with Crystal Palace reportedly interested in signing him. The Englishman has been with the club since 2018, having joined them from Arsenal.
As per The Athletic, Everton will allow Walcott to leave, and there is interest from Crystal Palace, Burnley, Fulham, and his boyhood club Southampton.
The report further states that manager Carlo Ancelotti does not see Walcott as an important part of the team, and that he will be allowed to leave on a free transfer or for a small sum. The 31-year-old is reportedly the highest-paid player in the Everton squad.
Walcott’s contract at Everton expires at the end of the current season.
Theo Walcott to Crystal Palace – A good move by Hodgson?
Walcott, if he wants to play consistently, will have to leave Everton, and it’s no surprise that he has plenty of suitors. Walcott may no longer have the blistering pace that brought him all the attention at the start of his career, but he can still contribute in the Premier League with his experience, work-rate, and ability to chip in with a few goals.
Crystal Palace would benefit hugely from signing an experienced attacker like Theo Walcott. The Eagles have made just two permanent signings – Eberechi Eze and Nathan Ferguson, and Michy Batshuayi has been re-signed by the club.
Manager Roy Hodgson will need a one or two more signings before the window closes, to give him options and to add to the squad depth. They need a right-sided winger like Walcott as Hodgson’s one option is Andros Townsend. Wilfred Zaha can also play in that position, but he has been used in the central role this season.
Walcott would be a useful signing for Palace and could even be used as the main striker in Hodgson’s new 4-4-2 formation. After impressing for Arsenal during his teenage years, Walcott was never given a sustained run as a forward, even though he impressed and scored a decent number of goals.
The 31-year old has scored an incredible 86 goals from the right-wing position, and a mere 14 as a forward. However, those 14 goals have come in 27 games. Now, at his age, he is a lot more experienced than he was a decade or so ago. He has the awareness around the penalty box, and could be a good option upfront.
He is still pretty quick, and can also be used on the wings, so his arrival would give Hodgson additional options to possibly target a top-half finish this season.
Stats via Transfermarkt.co.uk