Theo Walcott has opened up on the end of his time with Arsenal, admitting he ‘fell out of love’ with the sport in his last 18 months working under Arsene Wenger.
Walcott swapped London for Merseyside in January after almost 12 years under Wenger, and returns to the Emirates with his new club Everton this weekend, hoping to give new Arsenal boss Unai Emery something to think about.
Ahead of his Emirates return, he explained that his lack of playing time towards the end of his Arsenal career was causing him to fall out of love with the sport, but his move to Everton was just the ticket to rekindle that flame.
“I’m not going to lie, I fell out of love with football for a little bit. Because I had some good performances, but then just didn’t get the chance to play on,” Walcott told Sky Sports.
“Scoring over 100 goals for Arsenal is a great achievement for me personally, and then just the last year-and-a-half was tough, I can’t lie. It was really tough, not being able to get into the team, being in and out.
“I just felt I wanted to get the excitement of football again. I didn’t feel like it was going to be at Arsenal then. Sam Allardyce at the time got in contact, and I felt ‘yeah, this is the right move for me.’
“I got the buzz and enjoyment back, and I couldn’t be in a happier place to be honest, I’m playing football with a smile on my face. I just love football again.”
While Walcott is glad he made the move, however, he admits that his heart remained at Arsenal for weeks after he moved to the Toffees.
“It always felt I was I was a little bit at Arsenal, and a little bit here,” Walcott added. “We obviously played Arsenal two weeks after I moved, and it still felt like I was a little bit there, because it was too soon.”