Theo Walcott has waxed lyrical about his love for his first club Southampton after scoring his first goal for them in almost 15 years.
After breaking through aged 16 at St Mary’s, Walcott spent 12 years at Arsenal before moving to Everton and returned to Southampton on loan in October.
He netted the opener on Sunday evening in a 1-1 draw with Wolves to score in his 14th successive Premier League season, demonstrating impressive longevity at the top level of English football.
Theo Walcott scored his first goal for Saints in almost 15 years against Wolves on Sunday
The 47-cap England international Walcott referenced that record and his joy at returning to the Saints.
He said: ‘Very proud of that. I’m only 31 but I feel like a kid again.
‘It means a lot to play at the highest level for this long. I just love the Premier League.
Pacy forward Walcott’s goal means he has now scored in 14 straight Premier League seasons
‘I’m enjoying playing for Southampton. It’s a club that’s close to my heart and always will be.
‘Hopefully I can be part of the next stage of Southampton’s development. I feel we’re a very good watch.’
Two-time FA Cup winner Walcott, who is still England men’s youngest ever player, coolly finished Che Adams’ cut-back just before the hour to open his account for the season.
Walcott broke through at St Mary’s aged 16 and became England men’s youngest ever player
Although Saints were pegged back by Pedro Neto’s equaliser 15 minutes from time, they lie fifth in the Premier League, three points off leaders Tottenham.
Walcott then described how happy he was playing under manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
He added: ‘A lot of teams won’t want to to play against us. We have trust as a unit, we want to play together and that’s the way we are. We want to win games.
‘The first minute I spoke to the coach, I wanted to play for him straightaway.
‘I’ve managed to adapt to the playing style pretty quickly. All the players want to do well, not just for him but for each other. He’s an absolute dream to work with.
‘I’m very pleased to score for the Saints again.’
Southampton host Manchester United on Sunday afternoon in their unlikely quest for European football.