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Opinion

This is the only possible Newcastle United replacement for Callum Wilson unless…

2 weeks ago
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Callum Wilson limped off the pitch on Saturday.

The Newcastle United centre-forward only lasting 36 minutes before forced off the pitch, following Javier Manquillo down the tunnel after the full-back was also injured off earlier.

Fabian Schar was later to follow, Newcastle United reduced to nine men for the final ten minutes, Steve Bruce having already used all three subs and Jeff Hendrick red carded just after half-time.

The two defenders will be missed BUT fair to say that Callum Wilson will be a far bigger miss.

Going into Saturday’s game he had been directly involved in 15 of the 22 Premier League goals scored by Newcastle this season, Callum Wilson scoring ten and getting five assists.

There has been no official update from the club since Steve Bruce confirmed after the Southampton match that it was a hamstring problem for Callum Wilson. However, it certainly appears to be a case of how many games the forward will miss, not whether he will miss any.

There have been many Newcastle United fans pointing the finger of blame at Steve Bruce as potentially being to blame for the injury to NUFC’s key player. Bruce has been keen to say that with so many games in quick succession, it was important to look after players, yet he started Callum Wilson in Newcastle’s last nine Premier League games playing weekend and midweek in a time period of just over five weeks, never subbing him in these nine matches until Saturday’s injury.

Bottom line is that Newcastle will play Chelsea on Monday without Callum Wilson in the side, so who should replace him?

There appears to be three possibilities with Andy Carroll, Joelinton and Dwight Gayle to choose from.

This is how each of them have performed in the Premier League during Steve Bruce’s 19 months at St James Park.

Andy Carroll

Scored 1 goal in 8 Premier League starts (and 24 sub appearances).

Played 982 PL minutes, so averaging a goal every 982 minutes.

Joelinton

Scored 3 goals in 44 Premier League starts (and 11 sub appearances).

Played 3,796 PL minutes, so averaging a goal every 1,265 minutes.

Dwight Gayle

Scored 5 goals in 10 Premier League starts (and 17 sub appearances).

Played 944 PL minutes, so averaging a PL goal every 189 minutes under Steve Bruce.

Obviously not the greatest of choices but surely there is only one obvious selection?

Steve Bruce may have signed both Andy Carroll and Joelinton BUT Dwight Gayle is the only feasible choice to play through the middle.

As well as their lamentable goalscoring stats, Andy Carroll is so immobile and Joelinton doesn’t even like going in the box.

When you also factor in that Andy Carroll has only scored one Premier League goal in the last 34 months, it surely makes the decision even easier.

Back when Rafa Benitez was manager, Newcastle United actually went away to both Manchester United and Chelsea in November and December 2017 and played on the ‘front foot’ as Steve Bruce might say, in both games Newcastle took the lead through Dwight Gayle before eventually succumbing to defeat in the two matches.

Having tried to play a bit higher up the pitch and have players with a bit of pace in attacking positions, Dwight Gayle has to start, unless you want to guarantee zero chance of goals from your centre-forward…

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