Just when Newcastle United fans were hoping that things will get better, reports that Callum Wilson’s injury is worse than first feared are the last thing they wanted to hear.
According to The Shields Gazette, the striker could be on the sidelines for a number of weeks due to a thigh injury.
The Geordies have had a tough start to the new campaign and after a disappointing transfer window, it seems that the club stands on a knife-edge from blowing out of control and things turning rather nasty at St James’ Park.
But in Allan Saint-Maximin and Wilson, the fans have a reason to be optimistic and that has been highlighted by the pair’s start to the season.
Three out of Newcastle’s goals (Wilson 2 and Saint-Maximin) have come through the dynamic duo. With them two up front, Steve Bruce’s side always carry a threat. It’s just a shame they don’t have the same quality surrounding and supplying them week in, week out.
Pressure on Saint-Maximin
With reports claiming that Newcastle’s number nine could be on the sidelines for several weeks, the pressure on manager Bruce to get that crucial first win of the season under his belt has become a lot trickier.
Dwight Gayle and Joelinton could be tasked with filling the gaping void caused by Wilson’s injury, unless Bruce opts to change the system.
Neither Gayle nor Joelinton have the goalscoring prowess or threat that Wilson carries, so the question is where are the goals going to come from?
The onus will be on Saint-Maximin, but without his partner in crime, teams will be able to double up on the Frenchman or even man-mark him.
Despite him registering as many through balls as any player in the Premier League, sharing the lead with the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Trent Alexander-Arnold, Saint-Maximin needs to be the man on the end of these chances, especially in Wilson’s absence.
In his first two seasons in the Premier League, the 24-year-old scored three goals in each campaign. His best goalscoring season came for Nice in 2018/19 where he scored six Ligue 1 goals.
A difficult start to leading the line
Newcastle’s first match after the international break and when Bruce finally returns from holiday is against the manager’s former side Manchester United, who will be welcoming a certain Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford.
Saint-Maximin and Newcastle could be in for a long afternoon, but with games against Leeds United and Watford to follow, the former France under-21 international will be hoping to improve on his solitary strike for the campaign so far.
However, if Newcastle are going to steer clear of relegation again this season, then Saint-Maximin is going to have to improve on the six Premier League goals he managed in his last two campaigns on Tyneside.
Newcastle fans will be hoping that Wilson’s injury isn’t a lengthy one, but if it is, then then pressure on Saint-Maximin to produce the goods will certainly intensify.