On-loan Southampton forward Theo Walcott says he is “not here to put my feet up” after returning to his boyhood club 14 years after leaving.
The England winger described himself as “excited”, adding that he “can’t wait to get playing” at St Mary’s again.
“I looked down at the badge and it just reminds me of when I was a kid. I feel 16 again,” said Walcott.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Steve Crossman, he added: “I’m grateful that both clubs could make it happen.
“I am not coming here to put my feet up, I’m here to work hard, play and help.”
Walcott, who has 46 England caps, came through the youth ranks at Southampton, breaking into the first team at the age of 16 when the club was in the Championship.
He signed for Arsenal in 2006 and spent 12 years at Emirates Stadium, scoring 108 goals in 398 appearances, before moving to Everton in 2018.
Reflecting on an “emotional” return to Saints, Walcott said it feels like he has “come full circle”.
“It’s not really hit me yet. When I play my first game it will hit me,” added Walcott, before Southampton travel to face Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday (15:00 BST kick-off).
“I put the old shirt on when I was doing my medical and that was quite surreal. I want to make new memories. I want to be part for something special here.”
Speaking of the moment he was told his move back to the south coast of England was happening, Walcott said: “I was itching for the phone call while I was still up north. Now I have a different journey and it’s down to me.
“I want to put a lot in. I can’t wait to get playing.”
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