Eddie Howe makes public Callum Wilson England discussions with Gareth Southgate

Callum Wilson is still dreaming of making the England squad for the Qatar World Cup finals in November and December.

Those finals kicking off in exactly 100 days time – Qatar v Ecuador on 20 November 2022.

The chances of Callum Wilson making the squad have been boosted today, with Eddie Howe revealing that he has spoken to Gareth Southgate a number of times since he (Howe) arrived at Newcastle United and that the possibility of Wilson getting back into the England squad has been discussed a number of times.

Callum Wilson has four caps for England and one goal but the last time he made an England squad was back in November 2019, before he moved to St James’ Park.

In his final season at Bournemouth, Callum Wilson only scored three goals in his final twenty five Premier League starts after September 2019, which won’t have helped his England ambitions.

Then since moving to Newcastle United, Callum Wilson has scored (21 PL goals) at just better an average of a goal every other Premier League start, his big problem of course with NUFC has been his injury record and he has started only 40 of the 77 Premier League matches in his time at St James’ Park.

Eddie Howe asked by The Mail about possibility of Callum Wilson getting back into the England squad and going to Qatar in November / December:

“I have spoken to Gareth (Southgate) a number of times, we have a very good relationship.

“And yes, Callum Wilson has come up (in discussions).

“Of course there is a possibility (Wilson can make the England squad for Qatar), Callum has done it (got into the England squad) before.

“The only thing that has stopped him being regularly in that squad is injuries.

“He will be looking to stay fit and contribute goals for us, and if he does that he will elevate himself back into Gareth’s thinking, for sure.

“The ability is there, touch wood he can play the games.

“I agree (Callum Wilson is not far behind Harry Kane in the pecking order), for me, he’s one of the best strikers in England.

“The only question mark against his name is how many games he plays.

“If he plays enough games, I passionately believe he will score enough goals to play himself into the (England) squad.”

I think the Newcastle striker has an initial immediate one month window at the beginning of this season, where he has to convince Gareth Southgate to give him a try England only have one more scheduled get together before Gareth Southgate will name his squad and Callum Wilson surely has to make that squad.

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On 23 September and 26 September, England play Italy and Germany respectively in Nations League matches. If Wilson isn’t included in that get together then surely he has no hope of then suddenly getting called into the very final squad for Qatar. If Gareth Southgate is considering bringing in somebody like the NUFC player, who hasn’t featured with England for so long (since 2019), then this September squad is a must.

Callum Wilson might have 16 Premier League games before England head off to Qatar but only seven NUFC Premier League matches to try and impress Southgate for this September get together.

A goal against Forest the perfect start and now it is Brighton away, Man City home, Wolves away, Liverpool away, Palace home and West Ham away.

That West Ham match is on Sunday 11 September and Southgate will be naming his squad in that following midweek, before then Newcastle are at home to Bournemouth on Saturday 17 September, before that international break.

A tough set of fixtures for sure, but maybe all the better for Callum Wilson, because if he can knock in say five or six goals or better (four or five now, having got that one on Saturday), then surely he will have every chance of that vital initial return to the England squad.

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Last (2021/22) season in the Premier League, when it came to English strikers, you had Harry Kane with 17 goals  but other than him, not many English centre-forwards knocking in many goals last season.

Jamie Vardy got 15 last season, but as things stand, isn’t wanting to play for England any more.

Then after that you had Ivan Toney with 12 last season, Ollie Watkins on 11 goals, but then despite only starting 16 games, no out and out English striker / centre-forward got more than Callum Wilson’s eight Premier League goals.

Other English players such as Sterling (13), Maddison (12), Bowen (12), Mount (11), Saka (11) and Smith Rowe (10) got good numbers of goals but aren’t centre-forwards.

Whilst the likes of Calvert-Lewin will have to show his fitness and form after injury issues and has had the worst possible start, having been ruled out with a new injury from the opening matches, having had an injury and fitness nightmare last season, plus he only scored five goals in fifteen starts.

So, the opportunity is surely there for Callum Wilson, if he can impress for Newcastle United early in the season.

Even with my NUFC bias, I honestly think that Wilson is a better striker and certainly finisher than the likes of Watkins, Calvert-Lewin, Toney etc.

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I would also rate Callum Wilson ahead of Tammy Abraham, he got 17 goals in Serie A for Roma last season but in his final Chelsea season only managed six goals in 22 Premier League appearances (including 12 starts). He is decent but I think Wilson a better goalscorer than Abraham.

Harry Kane is obviously automatic first choice but I would rate only Vardy as a better striker / goalscorer than Wilson out of the potentials and he (Vardy) is now 35 years old and seemingly with no interest in an England call up.

I think the reality is that when looking at strikers to go to Qatar, it is a case of Harry Kane starting every match (unless injury hits) and then after that, the most important thing is wanting strikers on the bench capable of coming on and grabbing a goal. Callum Wilson winning that race for me as well.

If he can stay free of injuries this could be a stellar year for Wilson, for club and country.

In June, it was announced that 26 men squads will be allowed for this World Cup, rather then the usual 23, a big lift for somebody like Callum Wilson hoping to make a late run into the England squad.

Good luck to Callum Wilson, for Newcastle United…and England.

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