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Opinion

This man is surely our only hope of Newcastle United getting enough points to survive

2 weeks ago
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The only reason Newcastle United are not already dead and buried yet, is Callum Wilson.

Newcastle signed the 29-year-old striker from Bournemouth in the summer for £20 million, with the club in dire need of a goal scorer.

He has been worth every single penny.

Despite missing a number of games due to injury, Wilson has returned ten goals and five assists in 21 appearances in the Premier League this season.

For a team that regularly struggles to create many clear-cut chances and has only scored 28 goals in the 29 PL matches so far, it is clear how much we have needed him.

Out of the games in which Callum Wilson has featured, Newcastle have won seven, drawn four and lost ten.

These statistics mean that Wilson has helped accumulate 25 of Newcastle’s current total of 28 points this season.

Wilson has been absent for eight Premier League games this season and Newcastle fans will surely feel that they would be in a better / safer position if he had been fit for them all.

What is even more apparent, is that if Callum Wilson had been absent for more games, we would likely already be consigned to relegation; possibly even below Sheffield United!

There have been many times this season where Wilson has saved Newcastle a point or guaranteed / earned the three points, all on his own.

Thinking back to the away win against Everton, Wilson showcased his value to the team.

His goals at Goodison, a glanced header from a corner and a cool finish on the counter, highlighted not only his dynamic movement, but also his composure. This is something that was lacking last season and the need for a goal scorer has resurfaced whenever Wilson has been absent.

Not only is Callum Wilson clinical, but his impact on how the entire team plays, as highlighted by the underwhelming performances over the past few matches, is huge.

When Graeme Jones came in, Newcastle began playing Bruce’s now preferred formation of 4-3-1-2. At the beginning, it worked a treat, and Newcastle recorded the impressive away win against Everton and the battling home victory over Southampton.

Wilson’s ability to come in off the right and hold the ball up for the likes of Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin was a big positive. The whole team functioned better with Wilson as a focal point.

I firmly believe that, whilst the trio of Wilson, Saint-Maximin and Almiron have been out injured, Callum Wilson is by far the biggest miss of the three.

Since their injuries, Newcastle have looked bereft of ideas, with Bruce attempting to use both Dwight Gayle and Joelinton in the position that Wilson was so effective in. Neither of them have been able to hold possession in the same way as Wilson, the team as a whole has struggled.

Miguel Almiron was back for the appalling loss away to Brighton and struggled to be as effective as he was before his own injury. I believe that whilst the team as a whole were dreadful, Almiron’s struggles were partly due to Wilson’s absence.

Callum Wilson is hoping to return for this weekend’s match against Tottenham, whilst Ryan Fraser scored in midweek for Scotland, which is another big plus, as he has looked low on confidence and has recently been utilised as part of an ineffective attacking trio.

The hope for Newcastle fans is that upon Wilson’s return, a more progressive style of play will also return.

Anything from Sunday’s match against Tottenham will be a  bonus and it will be in our more ‘winnable’ games where Callum Wilson will hopefully definitely make a difference.

What has been clear over the past few weeks is just how much we have missed Wilson’s goal scoring and overall impact of the team, especially when you consider he has been directly involved in 15 of the 28 Premier League goals scored by NUFC.

If Newcastle have any hope of surviving this season, Callum Wilson will certainly play a huge part.

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