Finally, Newcastle United have a striker that knows where the goal is. Except Dwight Gayle’s superb form in the Championship, Newcastle haven’t had an out-and-out goal scorer since Demba Ba. Callum Wilson brings goals to Newcastle, something that was lacking last season.
Not only was it lacking but Newcastle were among the lowest scorers in the Premier League last season. That simply could not continue and a change was desperately needed, otherwise the dreaded ‘R‘ word would once again be in our minds. Steve Bruce gets his fair share of criticism but bringing in Wilson was a fantastic move. The former Bournemouth striker has confidence in his ability to fire Newcastle up the table and his attitude of always wanting more is exactly what is needed at this football club.
Wilson has already scored four goals and has one assist to his name in four games in the Premier League and has rapidly become a crucial player for Newcastle. Wilson is now in the same bracket as Allan Saint-Maximin for just how important he is to Bruce’s side and he became the first Newcastle player since Les Ferdinand to score four goals in his opening four games for the club. Esteemed company indeed.
Newcastle’s top scorer last season was Jonjo Shelvey with just six. Let that sink in for a moment, six over the course of a whole season. Wilson was disappointed to only notch one against West Ham last month and he wasn’t satisfied with his brace against Burnley either. The striker was annoyed that he didn’t bring the match ball home after the victory over Burnley, stating: "The only disappointing thing is that I didn't score a hat-trick tonight to be honest, when the final whistle went, I was disappointed. I wanted to carry on and try and get that match ball.”
Newcastle have been crying out for a greedy striker, a striker who only thinks of one thing - scoring goals. Football is an easy game, goals win matches, and without a decent striker you’ll rarely stand a chance. Let’s be honest, Newcastle haven’t had a prolific striker for a long time, which is one of the many reasons for our struggles on the pitch.
When Ryan Fraser is up to speed, an attack of the Scotsman, Miguel Almirón and Saint-Maximin behind Wilson is a mouthwatering prospect. Finally, an attack that would actually strike fear into the opposition. Wilson will get far more service than Joelinton did last season. That’s partly down to the player himself, Wilson is always looking to get into the box, always looking to find a way to score. He’s selfish and his main aim is to see that net ripple. There will always be a debate about Joelinton, however, he just doesn’t have the selfish attitude that all good strikers need.
Some may call it arrogance, others will call it confidence but Wilson’s will to win and his desire to do more is only a good thing for Newcastle. Providing Bruce’s side do not have a horrible injury record like last season, there should be no worries about relegation with the attacking options that Newcastle now have. Wilson has it all - pace, power, great movement and holds the ball up well. If the former Bournemouth striker continues his early season form, there is a real chance that he could be involved in the Euro's for England next summer. That's his target and he will be determined show Gareth Southgate exactly why he should be involved.
It sums up the incompetence of the club that it took so long to bring in a striker with a proven record in the Premier League. This season is different, Ashley is now a willing seller, and he now knows how important it is that Newcastle remain in England's top tier. The purchase of Wilson along with Fraser and Jamal Lewis should have Newcastle setting their sights on a top-half finish. With Wilson, Newcastle know they have a top striker who can certainly propel the club from a lower table side into the top half.
In order for Wilson to consistently score goals, Newcastle have to be a lot less passive. The play is very slow and laboured, there's no zip in it at all. It is crucial that Bruce gives this side an identity, sets out a way of playing. Counter-attacking side or possession based?
Whichever it may be, Newcastle will be punished if they continue to sit back and attempt to soak up the pressure for 80 minutes before having a go. Newcastle aren't exciting to watch, but they have the potential to be. Wilson was used to playing on the break at Bournemouth, using his pace to run in behind, it's vital Newcastle play to his strengths in order to get the very best from the striker. It's very early days for Wilson in his Newcastle career, but he has been very impressive so far. Long may it continue!