Former England forward Theo Walcott is poised to make his first Saints appearance in more than 14 years.
Ralph Hasenhuttl insists sentiment did not affect his decision to bring Theo Walcott back to Southampton
Former England forward Walcott is poised to make his first Saints appearance in more than 14 years during Saturday’s Premier League component at Chelsea.
The 31-year-old, signed on loan from Everton up until completion of the season, finished southern coast club’s academy prior to being offered to Arsenal at the age of 16 in January 2006.
Walcott’s return has stirred feelings amongst Saints fans however manager Hasenhuttl is determined he was not seduced by the love of the deal and is encouraged the player can reanimate his career at St Mary’s.
“I had some feedback that I put some tears in the eyes from some Southampton fans with this signing. But it was not the goal for me,” stated the Austrian.
” The most essential goal for me is to find a player who makes us much better. I’m persuaded if we deal with him and he is unbiased to something new, then he will certainly assist us.
” I have actually spoken in the past about older players where the heart is full and there is no space for something new.
“There are definitely older players who are able to throw old behaviours overboard and we can learn something new. This is the feeling I have with him also.”
Walcott scored 4 goals throughout 21 Championship appearances during his previous spell with Southampton.
He was then a shock addition in England’s 2006 World Cup squad after relocating to the Emirates Arena under Arsene Wenger.
The last of his 47 international caps was won in November 2016 and he recently slipped down the chain of command with his moms and dad club having actually relocated to Goodison Park from the Gunners in January 2018.
Hasenhuttl anticipates Walcott to require time to get used to Saints’ style of play.
“He learns quick. Our intense game against the ball is something we have to get adapted to,” stated the Austrian.
” He shows agood start I do not anticipate that it is instantly working completely.
“But we have a good learning player here, hopefully.”
France Under-21 midfielder Ibrahima Diallo, signed from French club Brest earlier this month, might make his Saints debut at Stamford Bridge.