Sadio Mane, Victor Wanyama, Morgan Schneiderlin, Nathaniel Clyne, Calum Chambers, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Luke Shaw, Rickie Lambert, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gareth Bale… and it all started with Theo Walcott.
It’s often said that the players Southampton sold to the Premier League top six in recent years would have made quite a team if they’d all stayed at St Mary’s.
But what if they still can? What if… they all come back?
It would have to start, naturally, with Theo – and that is what’s reportedly about to happen. Today’s Express says the Saints will attempt to bring their former academy sensation back to the south coast in January.
Walcott has been relegated to the subs’ bench (and even worse, the Europa League) for Arsenal this season, but he could still prove a useful attacking asset for a Southampton side that has scored just five times in seven league games this season (three of them in the same match against West Ham).
They would reportedly be prepared to pay “about £12m to £15m” for the former England winger, who may still harbour some crazy ambition of being selected for this summer’s World Cup, and could therefore be attracted by the prospect of regular first-team action.
If we’re doing this Saint reunion thing chronologically, next up on Mauricio Pellegrino’s shopping list will be Gareth Bale. Hmm.
Ozil’s self-confidence remains intact
While Walcott may be willing to move to a mid-table outfit, his Gunners’ team-mate Mesut Ozil is allegedly setting his sights far higher.
Goal reports that the German playmaker is only prepared to leave the Emirates for one of three teams – Manchester United, Barcelona or Real Madrid.
This is a man who was only wanted by Fenerbahce in the summer. What an absolute boy he is.
Contrary to reports, Goal claims that Ozil has not rejected a contact offer from Arsenal because they haven’t actually offered him one yet.
He has apparently not ruled out the prospect of staying with the Gunners as he recently bought a new house in London and “has made many close friends” there. He’s evidently spent more time hanging about with them than he has working on the training ground judging by recent performances.
As for Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal’s other “contract rebel” is once again being linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain. The Mirror says the French moneybags will sign the Chilean in the summer as a replacement for Edinson Cavani, who is wanted by Real Madrid (Don Balon).
Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo has told Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to sign Portuguese midfielder – and West Ham target – William Carvalho from Sporting Lisbon (Express), Liverpool are keen on Bayer Leverkusen’s 18-year-old attacking midfielder Kai Havertz (Liverpool Echo) and former Chelsea midfielder Oscar says he would be “very happy” to return to Stamford Bridge from Shanghai SIPG (Standard). But if the Chinese think they’re getting their £60m back they’ve got another thing coming.