Walcott: Everton Heading In Right Direction

Theo Walcott insists everything he has seen since moving to Everton has reinforced his belief it is a club heading in the right direction.

The forward arrived at Goodison Park from Arsenal in January vowing to help the Blues “push to the next level”.

His first four months on Merseyside subsequently yielded three goals from a string of energetic performances as the 29-year-old struck up an encouraging right-sided partnership with Seamus Coleman.

A fellow January arrival, Cenk Tosun, weighed in with a further five goals following his switch from Besiktas, while Walcott was also impressed by a pool of emerging talent that allowed Everton to hand more minutes of senior football to England youth internationals last season than any other club in the country.

And, having quickly found his feet at his new club after 12 years at the Emirates Stadium, Walcott is more convinced than ever that the foundations are in place for a bright Toffees future.

“Cenk has settled in really well and you will see a lot more from him next season,” said the 47-cap England international. “He feels at home here, I believe.

“It’s a different culture and that’s not an easy thing for any player.

“Then you have the young players. We have a few Under-23s who join training and they are technically very good.

“The likes of Dominic [Calvert-Lewin], Tom [Davies] and Jonjoe [Kenny] have had a lot of Premier League experience at a young age, too, which is important.

“Tom is one of those players who is very gifted and now it is about developing on what is his next level. I expect it to be very high, and the same with Dom and Jonjoe.

“Jonjoe has one of the best right-backs the league has seen in Seamus to learn from and if you have someone like that as a role model, then you are going to be doing something right.

“Dom has the competitive edge in training - he is a worker and a very good finisher.

“It is a healthy thing, I believe, to have all these young talents available.

“We are all together and I know where this Club needs to be because that’s why I joined it. We need to be competitive, which we definitely are.

“But there is a lot more to come from the team and I am already looking forward to next season.”

Since Walcott departed for his summer break, Everton have appointed a new manager in Marco Silva, as well as luring Marcel Brands to the position of Director of Football after a successful eight-year spell with PSV Eindhoven. 

Both have spoken of their desire to implement a long-term strategy at their new club, with Silva stressing the importance of delivering home form that creates “a strong connection” between the team and its fans

The 40-year-old’s first competitive fixture at Goodison will be against another of Walcott’s former sides in Southampton, with Huddersfield Town, West Ham United and newly-promoted Fulham all set to travel to L4 in September.

And Walcott admits he’ll be looking to hit the ground running to repay Evertonians for their support since his move from the capital.

“When I played for Arsenal, going to Goodison Park was always very tough,” he added. 

“I love that the fans are around you, close to the pitch, wanting you to do well and wanting to be a part of it. That is why I enjoy playing football at Goodison.

“There is a big fan base here, I wanted to enjoy my football again and the fans have made that happen for me.

“I will be judged on goals and assists and I want to have got a lot more goals than I have. 

“But I felt I could improve the team and the fact I contributed in a relatively short period that isn’t always the easiest for January transfers, I am pleased with, I really am.”

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