After coming off the bench against Liverpool last time out in the Premier League, Newcastle striker Callum Wilson must surely start against Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.
The England international has been slowly eased back into first team action by Steve Bruce after missing several games with a hamstring injury, but he looks set to feature from the off against the Gunners.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the match against the Gunners, the Magpies boss said: “I think the time is right. We’ve been patient with him, but I felt last week against Liverpool, in the last five minutes when he burst through, it was Callum being free from it – I always think when you’ve got a hamstring and you rely so much on your pace like he does, then you’re always a bit reluctant to get to full speed.
“But certainly last week against Liverpool I saw him up to top speed, which is good for everybody. Let’s hope he is 100 per cent, which we think he is.”
The £22.5m-rated Wilson has earned rave reviews in his time playing in the Premier League, with Eddie Howe, his former manager at Bournemouth, particularly fulsome in his praise of the centre-forward.
The 43-year-old said: “He is an outstanding player with unique attributes for us. He has that ability to run in behind and he’s got the work ethic off the ball and, of course, he knows where the goal is.”
In his debut campaign with the Magpies, Wilson has certainly shown he can be a game-changer, netting ten times and providing a further five assists in just 24 Premier League games, including a couple of match-winning braces both home and away against Everton.
While Newcastle have picked up their form in recent weeks, having a prolific striker Wilson in the starting line-up should give everyone else in the team a major boost knowing that they have someone clinical up front to finish things off. Today is the day for the 29-year-old to return to the starting XI.