As rumours circulate that Theo Walcott is refusing to sign a new deal at Arsenal, so people begin to speculate where he might end up if he left north London.
Having looked at his key stats from last season, and compared them with those of Liverpool’s squad, I’m beginning to think that I would like him to move to Anfield. Based on the numbers at least, he could improve the Reds in several areas.
On the creativity front, Walcott created eleven clear-cut chances (CCCs); only Stewart Downing matched that for Liverpool last season. Whilst the Gunner created fewer chances overall than the Reds’ £20m man (41 compared to 55), this does at least mean that a higher proportion of the opportunities he presented to team mates were top quality chances.
Walcott’s shooting accuracy in 2011/12 was 59%, as he found the target with 34 of his 58 shots. By comparison, Bellamy had 52% accuracy (16 on target from 31 shots), Suarez 44% (48/108) and Carroll 35% (27/77). No Liverpool player who took more than one shot (so apologies go to one-shot wonder Sebastian Coates) can better Walcott’s shooting accuracy from the previous campaign.
Theo also converted 40% (6/15) of the clear-cut chances he was presented with himself. Liverpool’s team average was 30%, with the likes of Suarez (25%; 7/28) and Carroll (20%; 3/15) below that figure. No Red who attempted to convert more than seven CCCs bettered Walcott’s return in front of goal last season. This profligacy was what lead the Reds to finish down in eighth last term, so the former Southampton made could prove to be a real asset.
Plus of course Walcott is quick (which can’t be said for a lot of the current Liverpool squad), and he is a boyhood Reds fan to boot (though aren’t they all when they first sign?!). Granted he was playing for a better side than Liverpool last season, which will have helped his figures a little, but his individual statistics illustrate that Liverpool should at least be considering a move for him.
Assuming the transfer fee and wages are sensible (which is admittedly a bit of a big ask based on Liverpool’s recent form), I’d be happy to see the England international trade the Emirates for Anfield. Seeing as Liverpool’s first match after the transfer window closes is at home to Arsenal, Walcott could certainly have an interesting debut.