Former England defender Danny Mills has been reacting to an update on Newcastle forward Callum Wilson and what that could mean for Chris Wood, as per Football Insider.
The Lowdown: Source reveal on Wilson
Wilson has been out of action since December due to a calf problem, with Wood arriving from Burnley in January to bolster Eddie Howe’s attacking ranks.
Where will Newcastle finish in the Premier League?
7th - 10th
The New Zealand striker has played every minute of Premier League action since making the move north, and despite only scoring once, he has helped the Magpies to pick up an impressive 20 points from a possible 30. [Transfermarkt]
His position could soon come under threat, though, with a Newcastle source revealing last week that Wilson is hoping to be back for the final five games of the season, starting against Norwich City on April 23.
The Latest: Mills reacts
The 44-year-old believes that the latter will be ‘worried’ and claims that the contract he is on at St James’ Park is ‘mind-blowing’, saying:
“He was always going to be worried about his place knowing he was a stop-gap as much as anything else.
“Let’s be honest, the contract he was offered was probably mind-blowing compared to what he was on at Burnley.
“Having scored three goals this season he probably thought all of his Christmases had come at once. Before they even finished the sentence he would have said ‘Yes, I’m off. The taxi is booked, I’m going’.
“He probably knew once players are fit he has to fight for a place and is unlikely to be first-choice.
“But he’s at a massive club, going places with a whole new set of challenges to go through. It’s more exciting and he’s probably happy to be in the squad every week, playing a fair amount of games.
“He probably thinks ‘At the stage I’m at in my career, this has been a really good move for me still’.”
The Verdict: Options…
Howe only has Dwight Gayle to rival Wood at centre-forward at this moment in time, with the 32-year-old playing just one minute of Premier League action in 2022.
It seems as if he isn’t fancied by Howe, so having Wilson back in the frame for the final five games would be great news to give Newcastle another option going forward.
It could mean that Wood doesn’t play every minute of every game, although Howe may well be tempted to go back to a 4-4-2 system, one that he used shortly after taking over on Tyneside to get both strikers in his starting XI.
Hopefully the Magpies will be well clear of safety by the time Wilson returns, giving Howe the chance to experiment ahead of a first full season in charge in 2022/23.
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