Southampton have announced the signing of Theo Walcott from Everton on a season-long loan, 15 years after he left the club.
Walcott became the youngest first-team player ever to feature for Southampton when he made his debut in August 2005, at only 16 years and 143 days.
The 31-year-old joined Arsenal in 2006 and went on to scored 108 goals in 397 appearances for the Gunners.
After twice winning the FA Cup with the Gunners, Walcott moved to Everton in 2018, but now returns to where it all started.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Walcott said: “I had a few opportunities from other clubs, but as soon as Southampton came in for me, it’s part of me and has made me into the player I am. It’s in my heart.
“I will probably cry, I bet, when I first play, and it means so much. All the people that made it happen, I can’t thank them enough. Honestly, I’m so pleased.
“I was seriously lost for words when Southampton came on the table, and for me it was such an easy decision.
“To get the chance to work with the manager as well and these young players that are coming through, I feel like I’ve made the right choice.”
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) October 5, 2020
Walcott the perfect fit for Saints
Ralph Hasenhüttl added: “There is a lot of history between this club and Theo, so I know how special this will be for him and for our supporters.
“But what is most important to me is that we have signed a player who can help our squad. He can give us another strong option in our attack.
“Theo is someone who has all the qualities to fit well into our team and our style of play. I know from speaking to him that he understands what we want. He is excited to be a part of what we are doing here.
“His experience and influence will also be important for our young players. The idea is not to block their development, but for this to make it faster. From this professional they can learn and grow as players for the future of our club.”