Southampton Football Club is proud to announce that Theo Walcott, one of the most celebrated Academy graduates in its history, has returned to St Mary’s.
The winger today becomes a Saints player once again, joining on a season-long loan from Everton almost 15 years since he departed from the south coast as a teenager.
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, before having such an impact that it prompted Arsenal to sign him in January 2006.
theo walcotti will probably cry when i first play. it means so much. honestly, i'm so pleased.
on rejoining southampton
He would go on to play for 12 years at Emirates Stadium, making 397 appearances, scoring 108 goals and twice winning the FA Cup, before moving to Everton in January 2018.
Walcott, who was part of the Southampton team that reached the 2005 FA Youth Cup final, has also earned 47 caps for England since making his senior international debut at the age of 17, as he went on to become one of the finest graduates ever to emerge from the Saints Academy.
Now 31, Walcott returns home, adding additional strength to Ralph Hasenhüttl’s squad for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign.
Theo 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.”
ralph hasenhüttlhis experience and influence will be important for our young players.
Ralph Hasenhüttl said: “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.”