By Noel Whelan

10th Feb, 2020 | 6:00pm

Exclusive: Whelan reacts to crushing blow for 'fantastic' Everton player

Noel Whelan has claimed that losing Theo Walcott to injury will be a crushing blow for both the player and Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds United striker suggested that the timing of the 30-year-old’s fitness issue is unfortunate given his upturn in form under the new boss.

The winger was forced off during the first half of the Toffees’ 3-1 win over Crystal Palace at the weekend with a suspected ankle issue after having laid on the assist for Bernard’s opener.

And Whelan believes that the injury couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“It’s a big blow, and not just for Ancelotti, but also for Walcott because I think it’s important that he’s got some continuity with his performances,” he told Football Insider.

“You can see what a fantastic cross he put in for Bernard. That’s the sort of quality that he can deliver from wide areas, along with pace, and direct dribbling, and goals.

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“He looked like he was just getting into that kind of form that we expect from Theo Walcott and now, suddenly, it’s stop and start again for him which is unfortunate.

“You’re going to miss quality players like that but I’m sure they’re going to adapt and try and get him back as quickly as possible because Everton at the minute are on a fantastic run.”

As yet, Everton have not provided an official update on Walcott’s injury or how long he is expected to be sidelined for.

Prior to Saturday’s outing, the pacy wide man had grabbed the headlines the week before with a late winner in the dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over Watford. 

In other Everton news, Paul Robinson claims the Toffees are headed for Europe.