Theo Walcott is linked with former club Southampton | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Everton winger Theo Walcott has decided to leave the Toffees on transfer deadline day, with a loan move to former club Southampton the most likely scenario.

Everton have made a flying start to the 2020/21 season and are top of the Premier League table after winning all of their opening four games. They jointly lead the division in goals (12) and are now a completely different proposition to the languishing side Carlo Ancelotti took over in December.

Theo Walcott
Walcott is out of favour at a much improved Everton | Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

But Walcott hasn’t really been part of this revival. The 31-year-old has played only 12 minutes in the Premier League, coming off the bench during the weekend’s 4-2 win over Brighton. He was left out of the squad altogether for the previous two games and was an unused substitute before that.

Walcott’s only start of the season so far came in the second round of the Carabao Cup against League Two side Salford City. He was subsequently dropped to the bench for the next round against Fleetwood and didn’t make the squad for the fourth round against West Ham.

90min understands that Walcott has concluded it is necessary for him to pursue opportunities elsewhere and wishes to leave Goodison Park on loan before the 11pm transfer deadline.

Southampton are the favourites to secure his signature, although Crystal Palace, West Ham and Newcastle all have interest and are also in the mix.

Theo Walcott
Walcott is most likely to re-join first club Southampton | Julian Finney/Getty Images

Walcott was just 16 when he burst onto the scene with Southampton in 2005, but he played just 23 games for the club before securing a high profile move to Arsenal in January 2006.

Later that year, he was a shock inclusion in Sven Goran Eriksson’s England World Cup squad at 17, despite having never played a single minute of first-team football for the Gunners at that point.

Walcott’s Arsenal career was ultimately hindered by injuries, although he still stayed until January 2018 and played close to 400 games for the club. Everton are thought to have paid in excess of £20m to sign him, but he has scored only 11 times in 84 appearances.

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