Noel Whelan insisted that Theo Walcott did not take his chance at Everton after the winger completed a return to Southampton. 

The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, claimed that the 31-year-old’s exit was best for all parties with Carlo Ancelotti boasting “fantastic” squad depth.

Southampton confirmed the capture of the attacker, who was a graduate of the Saints academy, on a season-long loan deal on Monday.

Football Insider revealed that an agreement had been reached between the two clubs with Southampton only paying half of the player’s wages.

Walcott‘s 85 appearances for the Toffees yielded 11 goals and nine assists.

Whelan suggested that the 47-time England international failed to meet expectations following his £20million arrival from Arsenal in January 2018.

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“Walcott was clearly not in Ancelotti’s plans,” he told Football Insider.

“He was given an opportunity to shine when he first came in but he did not do it. Let’s be honest, he has not done it at Everton since he got there. It was not a good move for player or club.

“I think he will be better off at Southampton because the strength in depth now at Everton is fantastic. He is not going to get opportunities there.

“It is the best deal for everyone involved. Walcott gets to go to a club he knows well and it might be easier for him to get into the team there. Everton are a different animal now. They have better quality than Theo Walcott.”

In other Everton news, Frank McAvennie drops big transfer claim after “unbelievable” development.