Theo Walcott is subject of West Ham United transfer rumours once again, with The Express linking him with a move.

Back in March 2016, the Arsenal man was linked with the Hammers as they looked to make a marquee signing ahead of their move to the London Stadium.

Instead, they brought in a lot of dross, to be honest.

If you look at last summer's signings, none of Sofiane Feghouli, Toni Martínez, Håvard Nordtveit, Domingos Quina, Gökhan Töre, Ashley Fletcher, André Ayew, Arthur Masuaku, Edimilson Fernandes, Simone Zaza or Álvaro Arbeloa really set the world alight.

Indeed, none of them were really marquee signings.

Add to that the departure of Dimitri Payet in January, the previous star at West Ham, you can see why the board would want to add a player of Walcott's quality.

They are now more settled in what has the potential to be a really impressive stadium, and what they need is a big name to help lift the mood after a disappointing start to the season, with just two wins from seven games so far.

And Walcott has the potential to do that.

NEEDS TO BE ON THE PITCH

Walcott will want game time in the coming season for sure ahead of next summer’s World Cup.

He can’t be a bit-part player at Arsenal.

A player can play a maximum of 3420 minutes during Premier League campaign, yet Walcott played in just 1925 in 2016/17. That was over 28 games, but he hasn’t played in 30 or more games since the 2012/13 season, something he’s only actually done twice while at Arsenal.

This season, Walcott's involvement has been reduced to Europa League games and Premier League cameos. He hasn't started a league game this season and was an unused substitute against Liverpool, Bournemouth, Chelsea and West Bromwich Albion.

What’s more, Arsenal’s switch to 3-5-2 has seen him struggle to find a place in the team.

That was also after a 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, where Walcott was captain, and he has hardly played since that game.

Afterwards, he said: “Palace wanted it more than us.”

Perhaps that cost him Arsène Wenger’s trust.

He is now 28-years-old, which should be his peak, and he knows playing a bit-part role isn’t going to help him internationally at all.

And with Walcott being 29 by the time the World Cup comes around next summer, he knows there’s a realistic chance he could have played his last major tournament for the Three Lions if he isn’t playing regularly.

A STRIKING ROLE?

Since David Gold and David Sullivan took over in 2010, it is fair to say signing a decent striker has not been something the duo have been particularly good at.

More than £50million has been spent signing 31 players to play that role, but 15 of them failed to get even a single goal during their time in East London.

A mixture of free transfers, temporary loan additions and expensive signings over a seven-year period, as well as injury problems, has stopped the Hammers from possessing a consistent, clinical, goal scoring striker.

Their top scorer last season was Michail Antonio, whose natural position is not up front, with nine Premier League goals. Javier Hernández was signed in the summer, but with just seven goals in as many games, the continued search to bolster their ranks is understandable.

So perhaps they see Walcott as an answer to that?

Certainly, if they were to play him off Andy Carroll, in the old school little-and-large combination, it could be very effective.

And Walcott himself used to say he wanted to play there. Indeed, last summer, Wenger claimed his future was up front.

“I believe that he has all the ingredients to be a great striker, because of the quality of his runs,” he said.

“He is an intelligent player, a good finisher.

“He is not a great defender so I believe that to use his runs in the final third for us could be very efficient.

“After that, I think scoring goals playing there, giving him the confidence to play there, will slowly convince him maybe that he can be absolutely fantastic there.

“On the flank, today there is much defensive work asked from the players that you lose a lot of his qualities when you put him there.”

But, speaking after that, in August of last year, Walcott claimed he had changed his mind and wanted to play on the wing.

“I want to make my position on the right — that’s where I know where I am now,” he said.

“I’ve told the manager that I want to be known for playing on the right again, although I can play up front.”

And, in fact, that was where he played for most of last season.

By signing Walcott, West Ham would really put down a show of intent as they look to put a difficult period behind them and rediscover some of the form that helped Slaven Bilic finish seventh in his first season in charge.

Premier League