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Opinion

Callum Wilson and Joe Willock – Do Newcastle United really need them?

4 weeks ago
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Callum Wilson and Joe Willock were arguably (without question?) Newcastle United’s two stand out players last season.

Callum Wilson ending the season injured but having been named NUFC player of the year and top goalscorer at the club with twelve goals in the Premier League.

Whilst as for Joe Willock, an incredible impact as he scored eight goals on loan in only thirteen appearances (eleven as a starter and three from the bench), including becoming the youngest player in the Premier League era to score in six (and then seven) consecutive appearances. As well as matching Alan Shearer’s record of scoring in seven consecutive PL games.

The ultra negative Steve Bruce tactics so often last season making Newcastle United a desperate watch on our TV screens and life so difficult for attacking players.

So with Callum Wilson ending the season out injured and Joe Willock ending his loan spell, with Mike Ashley seemingly not even willing to put in any kind of serious bid to buy him.

The question is, do Newcastle United really need these two players? Just how essential or not were they last season?

Well, these are the 2020/21 Premier League matches where neither Joe Willock or Callum Wilson scored, but Newcastle still picked up points:

Newcastle 2 West Brom 1 (Almiron and Gayle getting the goals)

Burnley 1 Newcastle 2 (Murphy and ASM)

Wolves 1 Newcastle 1 (Murphy)

Newcastle 1 Wolves 1 (Lascelles)

Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 1 (Lascelles)

Newcastle 0 Liverpool 0

West Brom 0 Newcastle 0

So a grand total of 11 points accumulated without Callum Wilson or Joe Willock scoring.

In contrast, these are the wins when Callum Wilson and / or Joe Willock scored:

Home: West Ham, Burnley, Everton, Southampton, West Ham, Sheffield United

Away: Crystal Palace, Everton, Leicester, Fulham

As well as draws against Spurs (away), Fulham (home), Spurs (home) and Liverpool (away).

A massive 34 of the 45 points picked up last season, with the help of Callum Wilson and / or Joe Willock goals.

Callum Wilson and Joe Willock doing their best despite the management ‘style’ and lack of support, managing to put together some stunning statistics, Steve Bruce owing them a massive debt.

Callum Wilson and Joe Willock scoring 20 of the 44 goals scored by Newcastle United players, that is over 45% of the goals scored by NUFC players (there were also two own goals in the overall total of 46 PL goals last season).

The Newcastle pair scoring their combined 20 goals from only 66 shots in the Premier League matches last season. Incredibly, scoring with over 30% of their shots / chances.

Imagine what they could achieve / score in a team with a better manager who would set them up to attack the opposition, creating a lot more chances.

It really is a no-brainer, Newcastle United have to do everything they can to sign Joe Willock this summer AND of course, keep Callum Wilson.

However, with only 17 days to go until the NUFC squad return to start pre-season, there appears to be no urgency whatsoever at Newcastle United to improve the situation as things currently stand.

Newcastle United almost totally reliant on only two goalscorers, with one of them not even our player and the other one a striker who has regularly experienced injury problems, some serious, in his career.

Callum Wilson ending last season with a hamstring injury and not even news as yet that he has fully recovered from that, whilst it has to also be extra worrying when he also missed seven Premier League matches from Feb-April 2021 with a hamstring problem.

It would be an incredible gamble, even by Mike Ashley standards, if Newcastle went into the new 2021/22 season wth only one injury prone Premier League level goalscorer.

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