Theo Walcott has the chance he needed to revive his career. The player moved back to Southampton on loan from Everton this season.
Danny Ings is out for a little while, it seems. Ralf Hasenhuttl says Southampton will be without their star forward for ‘4 to 6 weeks’, per Hampshire Live – a huge blow to the team.
The Saints are fifth after seven games and Ings is a massive reason for that. He’s been directly involved in 50% of their goals this season, scoring five and assisting two of their 14.
And you only have to look at last season to see how valuable Ings is. He scored 22 goals in a season where Southampton scored 51.
Without him, Southampton are a different beast, then. They’ll need everyone to step up and deliver but one player, in particular, has an opportunity here.
Theo Walcott is back at Southampton, of course. He’s there for at least the season in what is essentially his shot at a final shot at recapturing his best in the Premier League.
The two-and-a-half seasons with Everton only brought about ten goals and eight assists. They’re decent numbers but hardly spectacular – Southampton will hope for more.
And they’ll hope to get it now. Walcott was brought in to ease the pressure on Ings and offer an alternate threat. With Ings out, this is exactly the scenario they need him for.
More than that, Southampton won’t want to miss out on Ings’ running in-behind. It’s a huge part of their style and Walcott’s pace offers a fine alternative.
No, he may not rack up the goals as Ings does but he can keep Southampton playing the same, successful way. That’s a huge benefit to the team, of course.
But Walcott himself will know that this is his best chance to revive his career as a top Premier League player. He can lead the team, look to be the threat, and prove that he’s still got what it takes to be a star in the top flight.
At 31, this is surely his last chance to do so.