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Gareth Southgate reacts as Callum Wilson marks World Cup debut with an assist

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England manager Gareth Southgate singled Callum Wilson out for praise following the Three Lions’ resounding win over Iran on Monday. 

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Wilson, who beat off competition from the likes of Ivan Toney to make it into England’s 26-man squad, assisted Jack Grealish’s goal in a crushing 6-2 victory.

While the 30-year-old could well have scored himself, Wilson played in the Manchester City forward for an easier tap-in as England made an early statement in Qatar.

Wilson’s ability to assist is perhaps underrated. Already this season, the former Bournemouth man has laid on two for his teammates, while the 2020/21 campaign saw him record five, more than any other Newcastle player despite making only 23 appearances.

Harry Kane will obviously take some ousting as England’s first-choice option in the role but it’s promising to see Wilson can fit in with the team’s other attackers, rather than merely being a finisher.

What did Southgate say about Wilson? 

Speaking to the BBC (via The Shields Gazette), Southgate said: “We have some good players and today they really delivered. Our attacking players look a threat, our defence in the first hour controlled the game and were patient. The midfield were excellent and our forwards looked a threat. It is a great maker to put down.”

“What I particularly liked was Jack Grealish’s goal with Callum Wilson on. He could have been selfish but he was thinking of the team even at that moment. I’m a miserable so and so. I should be more excited but I have to keep the team on the right track.”

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