Nightmare for Callum Wilson as injury arrives at exactly the wrong time with England in mind
A nightmare for Callum Wilson.
For the fans, Newcastle United comes first, last…and everywhere in between.
However, for Callum Wilson, the England angle was a massive reason for joining Newcastle United.
The striker turns 29 this month and the 2020 Euros (delayed by a year) were a significant target when he decided to join Newcastle.
The chance to play week in week out with no other genuine Premier League quality striker / goalscorer to compete with for his place, which may well have been the case if Callum Wilson had gone elsewhere.
As recently as October 2019, Callum Wilson won his last England cap, only for Bournemouth’s doomed relegation struggle to drag him down, having scored five Premier League goals by the end of September 2019, Wilson only managed three more in what turned out to be the final ten months of the season.
Callum Wilson has been sensational for England, not only scoring 10 goals but actually directly involved in over 68% of Newcastle’s Premier League goals ahead of last weekend, with five assists meaning direct involvement in 15 of the 22 scored ahead of facing Southampton.
However, just when hitting a key part of the season for his England dreams, Callum Wilson was forced off on Saturday with a hamstring injury. The striker having suffered with hamstring problems a number of times in his career.
There is only one England squad to be selected, with players to come together and train and matches to be played, before the end of the season.
Next month England have their most important period ahead of this summer’s Euros and it is very difficult (impossible?) to see Callum Wilson now being involved.
England play San Marino, Albania and Poland on 25 March, 28 March and 31 March, if anybody was going to make a late run into Gareth Southgate’s plans, they surely had to be involved in this March squad.
You are talking probably no more than four weeks before Gareth Southgate names this March squad and the hamstring injury has almost for sure ended Wilson’s chances.
England kick off their 2020 Euros group this summer with a match against Croatia on 13 June 2021, the Premier League season ends on 23 May and there is only then one more set of matches before the finals when England play Austria on 2 June and Romania on 6 June. However, very unlikely that Southgate will be trying out any late surprises then, those games will be for him surely to put together the players he already knows he will be relying on in the tournament.
This is how the England probables / possibles have performed this season when it comes to Gareth Southgate’s striking options (stats via BBC Sport):
Harry Kane with 13 goals and 11 assists
Dominic Calvert-Lewin with 13 goals and 0 assists
Patrick Bamford with 12 goals and 5 assists
Jamie Vardy with 11 goals and 5 assists
Callum Wilson with 10 goals and 5 assists
Ollie Watkins with 10 goals and 2 assists
Marcus Rashford with 8 goals and 6 assists
Danny Ings with 7 goals and 3 assists
To add insult to injury, whilst Callum Wilson was injured out at the weekend, he had to watch on as the likes of Watkins, Bamford, Calvert-Lewin and Kane all scored in their matches.
Jamie Vardy has ruled himself out as things stand but as you can see, plenty of other competition for the England squad when it comes to strikers.
In that March 2021 squad, I reckon Gareth Southgate will have a look at one or two strikers as possible late inclusions in his Euros squad and surely Callum Wilson was one of those in his thoughts, especially if Wilson could have added a few more goals and the odd assist in the next few weeks. However, unless there is very surprising good news with Wilson’s injury, it looks as though it will be the likes of Bamford, Watkins and Calvert-Lewin that will be competing for a place or two in next month’s England get together.
You can’t help but look at the role Steve Bruce has played in all of this. He has repeatedly said about there being too many matches in quick succession and having to look after players to try and prevent injuries. yet Bruce selected Callum Wilson in all of the last nine Premier League matches, playing weekend then midweek and then repeat, indeed Wilson playing every second of those nine PL matches until forced off against Southampton. Not even resting Callum Wilson in hopeless causes such as when going 3-0 down to Arsenal and 2-0 to Villa, when he could and should have been subbed, to help protect him from overplaying.
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