Speaking exclusively with FootballFanCast, former England international Steve Howey has urged Newcastle United not to rush Callum Wilson back from his hamstring injury.
Steve Bruce has confirmed that Wilson is likely to miss the next six to eight weeks after being forced off during his side’s 3-2 win over Southampton last time out, in a “devastating” blow for the Magpies’ season.
When asked how big of an impact losing Wilson for the best part of the next two months will be for Newcastle, Howey – who played 149 times for United – told FFC:
“He’s been involved in 10 goals, and I think it’s three or five assists. So, he’s up there and kind of like with the forwards of Mo Salah and [Harry] Kane and stuff like that.
“Obviously, he’s been pivotal to the points that Newcastle have accumulated this season, [so] it’s a huge blow.
“We all know you’ve got to be so careful with them [hamstring injuries]. It’s such a big strong muscle, especially in somebody like Callum, who relies on the quickness of the mark and the sprinting.
“The club have to make sure that it’s spot on for him to come back, because any slight, not quite there, and then get him back in, it’ll go again and then it’s worse. So, you have got to get it right. Otherwise, he could be out for even longer.”
Wilson accounts for 40% of the 25 goals Newcastle have scored in the Premier League so far this season, with Almiron the next-best after his brace at home to Southampton doubled the Paraguayan’s tally to four.
Allan Saint-Maximin provided the assist for one of Almiron’s strikes plus Willock’s deadlock breaking effort to become United’s second-best playmaker with three assists in 13 appearances, only Wilson (5) and Joelinton (2) have also offered more than one to date.
Bruce will be expected to lean on either Joelinton, Andy Carroll or Dwight Gayle to now lead the line in Wilson’s absence, though has only seen the trio find the back of the net on one occasion each this term.
Gayle has also played just 97 minutes of top-flight football during the 2020/21 campaign, only 18-year-old Elliot Anderson (3) and Willock (90) have featured less among those who have stepped foot on the field in black and white so far.
Despite his undeniable importance, the Magpies simply cannot afford to rush Wilson back and see him miss any more game-time.
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