World News – GB – Sentiment and nostalgia are not behind Theo Walcott’s return, insists Ralph Hasenhuttl


Ralph Hasenhuttl insists sentiment did not influence his decision to bring Theo Walcott back to Southampton

Former England striker Walcott is set to make his first Saints appearance in over 14 years in Saturday’s Premier League game at Chelsea

The 31-year-old, on loan from Everton until the end of the season, graduated from the South Coast club’s academy before being sold to Arsenal at the age of 16 in January 2006

Walcott’s return has sparked emotions among Saints supporters, but manager Hasenhuttl is adamant he was not wowed by the romance of the deal and is confident the player can resurrect his career at St Mary’s

« I had comments that I brought tears to the eyes of some Southampton fans with this signing but that was not my goal, » said the Austrian

« The most important goal for me is to find a player who makes us better. I am convinced that if we work with him and he is open to something new, he will definitely help us

« I have already spoken of older players where their hearts are full and there is no room for anything new

« There are definitely older players out there who are able to throw the old behaviors over the edge and we can learn something new. This is the feeling I have with him too »

He was then a shock inclusion in England’s 2006 World Cup squad after moving to the Emirates Stadium under Arsene Wenger

The last of his 47 international caps was won in November 2016 and he recently slipped down the pecking order as his parent club moved to Goodison Park after the Gunners in January 2018

« He learns fast Our intense game against the ball is something we have to adapt to, » said the Austrian

French Under-21 midfielder Ibrahima Diallo, signed from French club Brest earlier this month, could make his Saints debut at Stamford Bridge

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Theo Walcott, Southampton FC, Ralph Hasenhüttl, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Everton FC, Premier League

News from around the world – GB – Sentiment and nostalgia are not behind the Theo Walcott returns, insists Ralph Hasenhuttl



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