A potential move away from Arsenal for Theo Walcott has been a big part of gossip columns for a few months, but the emergence of Manchester City as a new suitor comes as a surprise.
According to the Evening Standard, Pep Guardiola has identified the 27-year-old as one of the first players to bring in as he begins his reign at the Etihad this summer.
However, if you look at how the England international has performed this season, you can see that the Bayern Munich boss is misguided in his assessment.
Walcott has a pass success rate of 79.7% in the Premier League this season, the third-worst of any Arsenal outfield player to make over ten starts this term.
This inability to retain possession goes against Guardiola’s well-known footballing ideology, where he seeks to keep the ball as much as possible.
Indeed, the German champions have averaged 67% possession across all competitions this term and only two of their players have a worse pass success rate than the Gunners winger.
Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller are that pair, but can surely be forgiven as they have found the net 46 times between them in the Bundesliga this campaign.
In contrast, Walcott only has five league goals to his name for Arsenal this term, highlighting that he doesn’t score often enough to cover his inability to keep the ball and this means he would not be a fit for Guardiola.
Furthermore, a move to Manchester wouldn’t be the best career decision for the former Southampton prodigy.
The England international should be entering the prime of his career, but his strike tally this campaign shows he is struggling to find his form.
David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Jesus Navas would make it difficult for him to start out wide, while Sergio Aguero is guaranteed to start up front.
Spending a season on the bench would further hamper Walcott’s development and he would be better served moving elsewhere if he wants to leave Arsenal.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.