Southampton forward Theo Walcott has reportedly taken a huge 50% pay cut to sign permanently for the club from Everton.
According to information from the Athletic’s Dan Sheldon – via David Ornstein’s Athletic column – the former England international has halved his £150,000 per week wages from his time at Everton because he is so keen to re-join plans at St Mary’s.
This will mean that he will take home around £75,000 per week with Saints which, when previous reports are taken into account, will see him as one of the highest earners at the club. This is a big commitment from Saints but they clearly see the 32-year-old with a big role to play in the coming seasons.
Walcott has signed a two-year contract with Saints and will become their player officially when his current Everton deal expires at the end of June.
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The Athletic’s report also claims that Walcott had offers from MLS clubs and these could well have been worth more to the player, but he seems to want to give something back to the club that did so much for him in his early career.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has mentioned before that he has been hugely impressed by Walcott’s professionalism and he will be playing a big part in the early careers of many young players at the club now – just like how the senior pros would have helped him when he was breaking through too.
The 3-1 win over Fulham saw evidence of how he is helping out. Nathan Tella ran over to celebrate with him on the sidelines when he netted his first senior goal, and the two combined brilliantly as Walcott rounded off the win with the team’s third.
As said before, this is a big commitment from Saints. They have got to make sure their commitment pays off on and off the pitch. However, having a player who is willing to half their wage to come and play a part can only be a positive if other steps are made to move the team forwards.