Newcastle United desperately need Callum Wilson to have an injury free season.
The striker is about to begin his third campaign as a Toon player, but he is yet to complete a full year without any issues.
He played 26 times in his debut season after his £20million move, scoring 12 goals. Wilson missed a seven-game stretch in the second half of his first season, which was his longest period out of action.
However, things got worse last season. The 30-year-old only managed to play 18 times, spending most of 2022 on the shelf.
But, yet again, he was the club’s top scorer with eight. There’s nothing wrong with Wilson’s ability in front of goal – it’s his ability to stay fit.
Now Newcastle are taking steps to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen this season.
Newcastle make training decision to protect Callum Wilson
According to the Athletic, Wilson did not train with the main group on Sunday. They write that the players endured an intense session without their number nine.
Instead, Wilson reportedly completed a drill away from his teammates. Newcastle are being careful with him, and they are right to do that.
He started the friendly win over 1860 Munich, playing about an hour up front. However, he failed to find the net and squandered a brilliant opportunity early in the second half.
The Magpies are in action again today, facing Bundesliga side Mainz. While Wilson will hope to get more minutes in the tank, it would be a surprise to see him start. Instead, Chris Wood should lead the line.
Wilson is going to be vital to any success we have this season, so it’s essential that we manage his fitness.
If he’s fit, he scores goals. It’s as simple as that.
While Newcastle continue to look for attacking reinforcements, the main goal is to keep Wilson away from the treatment room. If that can happen then we won’t need a new striker.