Callum Wilson’s return to action for Newcastle United could help spark a push to finish in the Premier League’s top 10, according to pundit Kevin Campbell.
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While Eddie Howe has overseen a remarkable up-turn in form since just before the January transfer window opened, Thursday night’s loss away at Everton was extremely disappointing.
Clearly, this is far from a disaster and only four more points are needed to match the tally that has kept teams in the division for the last three seasons, but an improvement after the international break will be needed.
To that end, Callum Wilson’s return will be a boost. Having not played since the draw at home with Manchester United just after Christmas, Newcastle have missed their most reliable source of goals over the last two seasons, even if Chris Wood’s tally of one doesn’t quite tell the whole story in regard to his overall impact.
How do Wood and Wilson compare?
Although Wood and Wilson might differ slightly in terms of physical profile, it’s worth taking a look at their per-game averages this season.
According to WhoScored data, it is Wilson who records higher averages in some key attacking metrics. The former Bournemouth striker leads Wood in terms of shots (1.8 to 1.7) and dribbles (0.7 to 0.2).
Interestingly, however, Wood’s impressive averages for key passes (0.9) and aerial duels won (8.8) over the same period would suggest that perhaps the two could play together.
What has been said about Wilson?
Speaking to Football Insider, Kevin Campbell praised Wilson.
“Newcastle will be looking to finish as high as possible,” he said.
“You never quite know what can be possible, to get Wilson back will be a massive boost.
“He’s worked with Eddie Howe before – he really knows how to get the best out of him.
“The only problem with Wilson has been his availability and his ability to stay fit. Maybe he’s come back too soon at times, but now he can afford to take his time with the pressure off a bit.
“Fingers crossed we’ve seen the back of those injury problems. On his day he’s as dangerous as anyone in the Premier League.
“They’ll keep pushing, and him coming back could just lift them into that top half – it’s possible.”