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Walcott leaves Arsenal after 12 years to join Everton

January 17, 2018

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017 file photo, Arsenal's Theo Walcott watches for the ball during their English League Cup soccer match between Arsenal and Norwich at the Emirates Stadium in London. Theo Walcott has joined Everton in a bid to reignite his career after 12 years at Premier League rival Arsenal. Everton announced the signing of the 28-year-old winger on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, file)

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Theo Walcott joined Everton on Wednesday in a bid to revive his career after 12 years at Premier League rival Arsenal.

“It felt like it was time for me to move on,” said Walcott, who has reportedly moved for around 20 million pounds ($28 million). “It was sad, but it’s exciting at the same time.”

Walcott, who scored 108 goals in 396 appearances for Arsenal, hasn’t been a first-choice pick for the past year and made the last of his 47 appearances for England in November 2016.

The winger has yet to start a Premier League game this season, with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger mostly using him in the Europa League and domestic cup competitions.

Walcott, whose contract runs through to the end of June 2021, is the second high-profile signing by Everton in the January transfer window, after Turkey striker Cenk Tosun, as recently hired manager Sam Allardyce looks to improve his options in attack.

“He wants to play every week and really take his career forward again,” Allardyce said. “In the past and certainly with last season what we saw and what we’ve looked at with the amount of goals, assists and pace that he brings, it’s a very good acquisition and a lot of shrewd negotiation by the club in terms of today’s prices.”

Walcott was aged 16 when he joined Arsenal from Southampton in January 2006 and was selected for the World Cup by then-England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson that year, despite not having made an appearance for the London team.

He didn’t play at the World Cup in Germany and has only appeared at one other major international tournament — the 2012 European Championship — because of a mixture of injury and a loss of form.

Often criticized for his final ball, Walcott has mainly been used as a right winger by Wenger although the player has stated his desire to feature as a central striker.

Allardyce said last week he envisaged playing Walcott “anywhere across the front three.”

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