Callum Wilson is back, and sent a reminder of his obscene talents to Newcastle United’s recruitment team last night.
The striker started for the first time in 2022, having returned off the bench last week in the defeat to Manchester City.
But he led the line against Arsenal, and even led the team out having been given the captain’s armband by Eddie Howe.
Despite not completing 90 minutes since December 19th 2021, Wilson lasted the full game without any injury problems. However, he did manage to lose a tooth.
An exceptional performance from Callum Wilson
The 30-year-old played like he’d never been away and gave Newcastle something they’ve missed all year.
While Chris Wood has done a good job up top, he isn’t as big a goal threat as Wilson. The Newcastle number nine tormented the Arsenal defence with his pace and power. He looked like an absolute nightmare to play against.
Wilson was the focal point just like Wood has been, but carried a threat in behind too. He just has that instinct that all great goalscorers have.
The former Bournemouth man was unlucky to end the night without a goal. It looked like he had broken the deadlock early in the second half until replays showed it was a Benjamin White own goal.
Wilson then had three efforts narrowly miss the target, including one from range. That shot had Aaron Ramsdale scrambling, and would have been Newcastle’s goal of the season.
Last night’s performance was an instant reminder of what Wilson offers, and it came at the perfect time.
Wilson sends a message as Newcastle search for a new main striker
Newcastle are on the lookout for a striker this summer. It’s been reported that that’s where the majority of the transfer budget will go.
The Magpies have recently been linked with bidding for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who ended his goalscoring drought on Sunday. He’s five years younger than Wilson, and looks like a player who is desperate for a fresh start.
We’ve also been linked with big names such as Darwin Nunez and Patrick Schick.
But Wilson sent a message to Eddie Howe and co last night. He is more than capable of being Newcastle’s main striker – if he can stay fit. Sadly, that’s a big if.
Injuries have plagued Wilson, whose goal record is pretty decent. He’s got 18 goals in 42 Premier League appearances for the Magpies. And most of his minutes have came in a very negative Steve Bruce side.
The England international is good enough to lead the line for Newcastle. That’s why he wears the number nine.
Howe is right to sign a striker this summer, but it doesn’t need to be a megastar who’ll cost more than £50million. It should be someone to compete with Wilson, not replace him. He’s too good to be replaced.
Wilson’s performance last night could save Newcastle some money in the transfer market this summer. As long as he’s fit, he can be Howe’s main man up top.