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Everton closing in on £20m move for Theo Walcott

SAM ALLARDYCE believes Arsenal winger Theo Walcott can be a key figure as he looks to bolster his attacking options.

The Everton boss confirmed talks have opened with the Gunners over a potential £20million deal for the 28-year-old, who has only 18 months remaining on his contract.

The England international has made just 15 appearances this season but has not made a Premier League start since April.

Allardyce sees a move to Goodison as a chance for Walcott to reignite his faltering career.

He said: ‘Obviously there are negotiations that are happening at the moment and if that can all be sorted out — one of the most difficult things to do today — then that would be a great addition in my opinion to come and join us from an attacking point of view.

‘Two or three reasons really: goalscoring threat, pace, experience and he’s good on assists from wide areas in terms of his crossing ability.

‘We are short of goals so to add power in our goalscoring ability would be very important for me if we can negotiate that transfer — and he’s only 28.’

Meanwhile, £28m striker Cenk Tosun will be in the squad for Everton’s trip to Spurs tomorrow but Allardyce admitted it could take a while for his new signing to bed in.

‘It is not easy at all, it might not work. It is a massive problem in terms of you are hoping rather than being guaranteed he hits the ground running,’ said the Toffees boss.

‘When you look at the number of players who have been brought into this country from abroad – even in the summer – and not worked, particularly up front, it is a risk.’