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Theo Walcott seals Southampton return on loan from Everton

Theo Walcott seals his return to Southampton on a season-long loan deal from Everton, almost 15 years after initially leaving the Saints.

Theo Walcott has completed a return to Southampton on a season-long loan deal from Everton.

The 31-year-old had fallen down the pecking order at Goodison Park following the summer arrival of James Rodriguez, featuring for just 12 minutes in their opening four games.

The winger has now left the current Premier League leaders to rejoin Southampton, where he came through the ranks before leaving for Arsenal at the age of 16 in 2006.

"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," Walcott told the club's official website.

"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."

Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl 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 and 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, and I know from speaking to him that he understands what we want and that 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."

Walcott scored five goals in 23 appearances during his first spell for Southampton.

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Everton's Theo Walcott pictured in September 2020
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