Callum Wilson lays out Newcastle United and England ambitions
Callum Wilson is focused on playing for England again BUT fully accepts that only form and goals for Newcastle United can make that happen.
With 10 goals in only 19 Premier League starts by the end of January 2021, Callum Wilson had definitely put himself in contention to make the key March 2021 England squad get together in advance of the delayed Euros.
However, hamstring issues returned to haunt the Newcastle striker, injury ruling him out of United’s run-in AND also any chance of an England call-up, the likes of Ollie Watkins and Dominic Calvert-Lewin making that March 2021 squad instead.
The final 15 Premier League games of the season saw Callum Wilson return late and start only two of them, including adding another two goals in a great win at Leicester.
Callum Wilson says that he is working with Newcastle United (I assume the medical staff especially) to try and ensure he can make more than the 23 Premier League starts he managed last season.
The Newcastle United number 9 believes that if he’d been able to play all last season, he could have targeted 20 goals. Callum Wilson pointing to the fact that he scored 12 goals from only 49 shots and if playing in another 15 games he could have got up to around that 20 goal target.
Harry Kane was out on his own with 23 PL goals last season and the England rivals saw Patrick Bamford score 17 goals in 38 PL appearances, Dominic Calvert-Lewin 16 in 33, whilst Ollie Watkins scored 14 in 37.
If Callum Wilson had managed 20 goals last season, it is very difficult to see how Gareth Southgate could have ignored him.
Wilson turns 30 in February and must see the 2022 Qatar World Cup as his last chance of England success, something which can surely only benefit Newcastle United, as the striker will be driven to succeed even more in black and white.
Callum Wilson talking to Sky Sports:
How many starts?:
“I only made 23 starts or something like that [last season]. That was a bit frustrating.
“Missing 15 starts is a little bit disappointing but we’re working on that this year to make sure we can get as many games in as possible.
“The conversion rate [scored 12 goals from 49 shots / chances] I was working at was good, so if I’d got another 15 games in that would have taken me closer to 20 goals. So that’s the plan this year: to play as many games as possible and keep the standards of being clinical and finishing when I get the chance.”
Wearing number 9:
“I wanted to wear No 9. It’s a massive thing for the club. I will make sure I do the shirt proud, for sure. It’s such an iconic number it would be rude not to try to wear it, experience it, and do it justice.
“There are greats who wore it before me. If I can get into that shirt, wear it, do it justice and get amongst those guys, then you can be remembered forever by these fans.”
“Allan is a fantastic talent.
“When he’s around, he attracts so many players to him that I can make movements on the blind side of defenders and stay out of the way. Then when he gets his head up, make myself free and available for him to pass to.”
Watching, instead of playing for, England at Wembley in the Euros:
“It was unbelievable for me as a football fan, as an England fan, it was good to watch.
“I was dying to get down there and be a part of it on the pitch and playing and experiencing the atmosphere from the middle of the arena. But it wasn’t meant to be this year and I was there as a fan, cheering on the boys and celebrating along, shouting, singing. It was nice, a different experience.
“I left the stadium, starving for success and to get back to being a part of that. For me, that’s definitely the aim. One of my ambitions this year is to focus on Newcastle week in, week out, make sure I’m playing with consistent performances and then see if that comes off the back of doing well here.
“If I didn’t believe in myself, I’d never have got this far in football, You have to keep believing.
“I have the self-belief that if I work hard and focus on my performances here, that ultimately it should get me onto that England stage.”
Ambitions with Newcastle United:
“For us as a club and a team, we need to be pushing each year. Last year was an improvement in terms of league position and then we have to go again. We need to keep growing as a club, as a team, in our departments in the team. And for us this year, we want to build on how we finished last season and we’d want to finish higher than we did and break into the top 10.”
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