Theo Walcott not given up hope of England recall after maintaining strong start to season
Theo Walcott insists he has not given up hope of an England recall after maintaining his impressive start to Everton’s Premier League campaign.
The winger, 29, has adapted quickly to life under new manager Marco Silva and his goal at Bournemouth on Saturday was his second in successive games, helping the Toffees overcome the 41st-minute dismissal of Richarlison. Walcott also demonstrated his threat when he outpaced Adam Smith, forcing the defender into a challenge that earned him a red card.
It’s almost two years since he last featured in one of Gareth Southgate’s England squads and having watched the World Cup from a distance, Walcott knows he faces a daunting challenge if he is to reclaim his place.
But the player insists he is thriving under Silva’s direction and while his priority lies at club level, the former Arsenal man hopes his efforts for Everton could lead to an international recall.
“My ambition is to play well for this club, and for this club to achieve what I believed they can when I joined it,” he said. “And then if I play well, then who knows? But yes, that’s obviously that’s one big thing for me to get back into the England squad. I haven’t been in there for a couple of years now but yes, if I continue to play the right stuff I’m sure… I enjoy myself and hopefully get back in there.”
He added: “But my goal isn’t to be thinking of England, my goal is to be playing well for Everton football club first, and then obviously we can cross that bridge when we come to it. But yes, obviously you always want to play for your country. I’ve got 47 caps and I want that to be a lot more. So yes, I’ll continue to play well and we’ll see where that takes me.”
Silva, appointed as Sam Allardyce’s successor this summer, is anxious for his player to fulfil his aim. “I am here to support our players, to develop our players, to do everything to put them playing at the highest level,” said the manager. “That is what my goal is. They know they have a coach to demand a lot from them and to give support and confidence. I am happy with him. I want Theo enjoying his football and he is doing well.”
Walcott has been impressed by the high-intensity approach Silva has brought to training and having been affected by injuries throughout his career, insists he is as fit as he has been in a long time.
“Obviously my aim is to stay fit l but I am as fit as ever,” he said. “With the training that we so I have got to be fit. But yes it will be interesting but I am enjoying every minute. I think you can sense the style we are playing is completely different to what we are used to and I am thoroughly enjoying it, to be part of the squad and a part of the transition stage as well.”
Walcott and Michael Keane put Everton two up either side of Smith’s red card after Richarlison had earlier been sent off, but Bournemouth recovered to claim a point thanks to Joshua King’s penalty and Nathan Ake’s late equaliser.
“Now we have got Wednesday’s game and hopefully will have a good cup run as well,” added Walcott. “That’s what it’s about, winning things. That’s what I’ve come to this club for, for the club to be pushing into the European places and there is no reason why we can’t especially the way we are playing at this moment in time, and we are only going to get better.”
Follow the Independent Sport on Instagram here, for all of the best images, videos and stories from around the sporting world.