Theo Walcott completes £20 million move from Arsenal to Everton
Theo Walcott has completed his £20 million move to Everton, ending a 12-year stint at Arsenal in the hopes of a fresh start under Sam Allardyce.
Walcott, 28, leaves the Gunners after making just six Premier League appearances for them this season, all as a substitute.
"I'm very ambitious and I've come here because I want the club to push to the next level," Walcott explained about the decision to move.
"And with the players that have come in, I feel like the next level can be reached.
"I'm very excited to be starting a new chapter and I felt this was the right place for me to be.
"The manager is very ambitious and I feel like the club is going in the right direction.
"Everton is a club with a great history. The fans are always passionate, they're great and I always used to find it very tough playing here.
"The club has won trophies but I want them to win trophies now. The manager is very hungry and it's just what I need. I've had a couple of chats with him and straightaway I felt that hunger and that desire that he wanted from me. I need that and I wanted that.
"I want to be part of something which he's building and, like I said before, it's a very ambitious club.
Walcott had been the longest-serving player and leading scorer in Arsene Wenger's squad with 108 goals since his arrival as a 16-year-old in 2006. But his career was interrupted by several long-term injuries and he has struggled for playing time at the Emirates ever since Wenger's switch to a back-three formation last season.
He has been used mainly in cup matches this season, and will hope to revive his career under Allardyce and possibly fight for a spot in England's World Cup squad.
Everton have also signed Cenk Tosun this month and are hoping Walcott's pace can complement the powerful Turkish forward in attack. He could make his debut as soon as Saturday, when Everton face West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park.
He added: "I'm dead excited and I just want to do what I do best which is playing football and expressing myself because I'm excited again, I really am.
"I do really believe that I'm going to give it my all, which is what I always have done, and this place is going to get even more out of me.
"There's something about this move which I've just felt good about.
"It felt like it was time for me to move on [from Arsenal]. It was sad but it's exciting at the same time and I want to reignite my career and push Everton to win things as they have done before.
"I want to be part of something and I feel like this place will offer me that."
Walcott faced big expectations after being included in Sven-Goran Eriksson's 2006 World Cup squad as a 17-year-old before even playing a single Premier League game, meaning expectations were raised substantially before his top-flight career had even begun.
He only scored more than 10 league goals in one of his 11 full seasons at Arsenal, finishing with 14 in 2012-13.
Last season's haul of 19 goals in all competitions was the second best tally of his career, but he found himself without a natural role in the team once Wenger made his formation switch. He has just four goals this season, all in the Europa League and Carabao Cup.
Walcott leaves a legacy full of important goals for Arsenal -- including the opener in the 4-0 win over Aston Villa in the 2015 FA Cup final, a fine solo effort in the 5-3 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in 2011 and a long-range strike in 2-1 home victory over Manchester City in 2015.
Mattias is ESPN FC's Arsenal correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @MattiasKaren.