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Alan Shearer explains ‘Joelinton not a Bruce signing and not a striker’ unlike Callum Wilson

1 month ago
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Alan Shearer has been talking to Callum Wilson.

The pair are still yet to meet face to face due to the virus situation and that continues, the pair chatting via Zoom in a new interview for The Athletic.

Alan Shearer has been explaining the background to this chat, revealing that he first got in touch with Callum Wilson a number of years ago, long before the striker arrived at St James Park.

The England and Newcastle United legend getting in touch to give Callum Wilson a boost after he’d suffered a serious injury.

This longer-term relationship and contact then allowing Alan Sharer to have valuable input when Wilson was deliberating between Aston Villa and Newcastle United last summer:

“I first made contact with Callum when he suffered a bad injury at Bournemouth. I’d been there and done it and sent him a message to offer encouragement.

“We kept in touch and when Newcastle came calling last summer he dropped me a line to ask for advice. Naturally, my response was cold and clinical and purely factual: biggest club in the world, best fans in the universe, absolute guarantee of trophies, do it. Words to that effect, anyway.”

For us as Newcastle United supporters of course, we like to think there isn’t a better fanbase in the world (or even the universe…) plus of course to us NUFC is the ‘biggest’ club in the world. As for ‘guarantee of trophies’, all of us know for absolute certainty that we don’t have that guarantee…all we do want a guarantee of, of course, is that one day this football club will once again be TRYING to win trophies, trying to be the best it can be.

Something I am absolutely sure that both Alan Shearer and Callum Wilson would 100% agree with.

Alan Shearer talking about interviewing Callum Wilson for The Athletic:

‘Newcastle United have a new No 9 and Callum Wilson is buzzing — “It’s like my debut all over again,” he says. He’s buzzing about wearing a famous shirt, buzzing at the prospect of a full St James’ Park after a strange, lost year and happy to admit he is targeting 20 goals for my old club this season and a place in the England squad for next year’s World Cup. He wants Gareth Southgate to have him “on speed dial,” he says.

Truth be told, I’m buzzing for him. I love Callum’s attitude and the way he plays, a proper centre-forward who works defenders. And I love his love for scoring, how he understands the meaning of that single digit on his back. I want him to scorch the net in front of a packed Gallowgate End and experience the feeling I felt for so long, that everything moment, when the noise vibrates through your legs. Oh aye, I’m buzzing. And jealous as hell.

I adored that number. It’s almost exactly 25 years since I signed for Newcastle and 9 is what I am and who I am. It made me. If this is cause for you to roll your eyes, then fair enough and go ahead, but it means something on Barrack Road. You become a link in a chain through history. Our fans have always made myths of goalscorers; Hughie Gallacher, Jackie Milburn, Malcolm Macdonald, Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand and plenty of others. Callum is worthy of it.

I first made contact with Callum when he suffered a bad injury at Bournemouth. I’d been there and done it and sent him a message to offer encouragement. We kept in touch and when Newcastle came calling last summer he dropped me a line to ask for advice. Naturally, my response was cold and clinical and purely factual: biggest club in the world, best fans in the universe, absolute guarantee of trophies, do it. Words to that effect, anyway.

When Callum arrived, Newcastle already had a sort-of, kind-of No 9. Joelinton had inherited the number when he joined from Hoffenheim for £40 million the year before, easily a record fee for the club. It was never comfortable, never made sense. Joelinton was not a Steve Bruce signing and he was not a striker, either, not in any traditional sense. From 69 appearances, he has collected six league goals. The shirt smothered him.

There has now been a re-jig and it feels much more natural. Joelinton is the No 7 and Callum gets the shirt he should have had from the start but was too polite to ask for. My case was different. When I came home to Newcastle, I asked Kevin Keegan about the No 9 and Les Ferdinand was obliging and handed it over, not that it would have made me change my mind if he hadn’t. But I was desperate for it.’

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