Thursday 20 September 2018

Theo Walcott left Arsenal with his belongings in a bin bag and didn't say goodbye to team-mates

Everton new signing Theo Walcott with manager Sam Allardyce
Everton new signing Theo Walcott with manager Sam Allardyce

Carl Markham

Theo Walcott signed off after 12 years at Arsenal with a night-time departure carrying his belongings in bin bags but he bears the club no grudges as he starts a new career at Everton.

The 28-year-old did not get time to say his goodbyes to players and staff ahead of his £20million move to Goodison Park this week but insists there is no point dwelling on the past.

Walcott has made just six substitute appearances in the league this season and it became apparent he was not in Arsene Wenger's plans so had to cut his ties with the Gunners.

"For whatever reason it didn't happen this year and that's why I've moved on," said the England international.

"I've known him (Wenger) since I was 16 and to bring in a young player and have belief in them I can't thank him enough for that.

"With any player if you are not playing you are going to be upset but I've always had so much respect for the manager.

"When you look at the minutes this season I've played I wasn't part of it so it was just getting the timing right.

"As a personal footballing career decision I felt it was time now. It happened so quickly. There is no point in dwelling on the past.

"When I found I was coming here I had to go there (Arsenal's training ground) at night and pick up all my stuff in bin bags.

"I will at some point go back and say my proper goodbyes but we do play them very soon, which I am looking forward to."

Arsenal's Theo Walcott and Arsene Wenger
Arsenal's Theo Walcott and Arsene Wenger

Walcott could make his first Premier League start since April for the visit of West Brom and the 28-year-old is raring to go.

He could only watch his new team-mates train at Finch Farm on Wednesday as the deal had not been completed, and Friday will be his first full session with Sam Allardyce's squad.

"I have a new manager I have to impress and get the ball rolling," said the forward, who was the third-highest goalscoring Englishman last season with 19, behind only Tottenham duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli.

"After speaking to the gaffer and particularly Wayne (Rooney) as well, I felt the club was on the up with a manager who seems to get the best out of players.

"I want this club to push on and reach the levels it can and you get the sense that it is a club that financially can attract big players.

"I got a sense from Wayne he was hungry and the club was eager to push on and that is why he wanted to join.

"He felt it was the right place and I totally agree with him."

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