Arsenal star Theo Walcott has emerged as a doubt for England ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Scotland at Wembley followed by their friendly with Spain.
The 27-year-old, who only returned to first-team action on Sunday after a spell out with injury, could now be headed for more time on the sidelines, interim manager Gareth Southgate has revealed.
Walcott’s wife is due to give birth to the couple’s second child imminently, meaning the forward could leave the squad to be with his family.
“We have named 25 because there are a couple of players with knocks from yesterday,” Southgate told a pre-match press conference.
“We are not totally sure but Theo Walcott could disappear at any time with his wife expecting and we are conscious of that.
“We are happy with where everyone is at, two exciting games and will need to use the squad for both of those matches.”
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Walcott came close to adding to his tally of eight goals for the season in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Spurs, the Englishman beating Hugo Lloris with a fine shot only to be denied by the crossbar and he admitted after the game his disappointment at not having scored..
“The touch just got away from me and I just thought about concentrating on hitting the ball,” he told the Evening Standard.
“I think that’s the best I could’ve hit the ball and it caught everyone by surprise but, unfortunately it doesn’t even count as a shot on target. It’s one of those where you think back and it’s all about working hard.
“The guys gave everything. We probably worked harder defensively than we did going forward and that maybe stopped us from creating more.”
Walcott’s return to fitness has been a boost for both club and country, with the forward having started the season impressively ahead of important games in November against Manchester United and PSG.