Theo Walcott was a 17-year-old member of England's FIFA World Cup squad in 2006 but did not play in Germany and was left out for the tournament in South Africa four years later, despite scoring a hat-trick away to Croatia in qualifying. The Arsenal FC right-winger has blown hot and cold since then, but UEFA EURO 2012 could be the making of him.
• Born in London to a Jamaican father and an English mother, Walcott grew up in the Home Counties and started his professional career at Southampton FC, helping the Saints to the final of the 2005 FA Youth Cup.
• Became Southampton's youngest first-team player when he made his debut at 16 years and 143 days in August 2005 and went on to score four goals in 21 league games before agreeing a move to Arsenal in January 2006.
• Became the youngest England international when he made his debut at the age of 17 years and 75 days on 30 May 2006 in a friendly against Hungary; travelled to the World Cup in Germany the following month after a shock inclusion by Sven-Göran Eriksson but did not play.
• Proved a big hit in September 2008 with a hat-trick in a 4-1 defeat of Croatia in 2010 World Cup qualifying – his first international goals; also made five appearances at the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals in Sweden, having played in two World Cup qualifiers earlier in the month.
• Suffered from shoulder, back, knee and hamstring problems in 2009/10 but enjoyed his most prolific season in front of goal the following campaign, registering nine Premier League goals in 28 appearances.
UEFA European Under-21 Championship: runner-up 2009
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