Southampton manager Ruben Selles has explained what experienced forward Theo Walcott brings to the Saints squad.
Walcott was handed his second Premier League start of the season against Leicester City last weekend. He notably won a penalty for his side, although set-piece specialist James Ward-Prowse went on to miss the spot-kick.
The Englishman nevertheless helped Southampton register a much-needed 1-0 win against Leicester. He will now be hopeful of keeping his place in the starting line-up when the Saints face Manchester United on Sunday, 12th March.
Speaking ahead of the trip to Old Trafford, Selles elucidated what makes Walcott important to his team. The Spanish tactician explained that the 33-year-old’s understanding and experience are assets to the Saints.
"“It’s obvious that he [Walcott] brings expertise in relations”, Selles told a press conference.“It’s not only about the relation of being a friend of somebody, it’s a football relation; to know the movements of the player on your right, the player on your left, to know the movements of the opponent.”“First of all, he brings that one. Secondly, he also brings the expertise of the number 10 position that we’re using.”"
Selles also pointed out Walcothat Walcott’s mentality helps Southampton manage games better.
"“So, he’s a player who knows how to press in that system, knows the triggers, the shadows, knows how to [make it] count from the front, knows also in possession, where he’s the best”, Selles continued.“The penalty that we got [against Leicester] is an example of one of his strengths.”“He’s also a player who is aware of the mental game, so he knows how to read situations, how to slow it down, how to speed it up. That’s what he brings us.”"
Walcott has made 11 appearances across all competitions for Southampton this season, but is yet to register a goal or assist.
Can Southampton cause an upset over Manchester United?
The Saints will be determined to claim their third win in four league games on Sunday. A win against Manchester United will be a huge boost to their survival chances.
However, the Red Devils will be keen to bounce back from their embarrassing 7-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend. They notably returned to winning ways with a 4-1 victory over Real Betis in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday, 9th March.