Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Newcastle United Striker Is A Major Doubt For Chelsea Clash: How Can Bruce Cope With This Loss?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, The Chronicle has stated that Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson is a major doubt for the Premier League clash versus Chelsea after the international break. The ex-Bournemouth attacker picked up a suspected hamstring injury and was withdrawn by Steve Bruce after 70 minutes in the Magpies’ 2-0 loss away at Southampton last weekend.

Wilson’s Growing Influence At St. James’ Park

Wilson has made a positive start to his career at St. James’ Park after establishing himself as Bruce’s first-choice centre-forward over the past few months. The English marksman has already produced some memorable displays for the Tyneside giants and has done well to register six goals and one assist in nine appearances for them across various competitions.

The 28-year-old has performed at a high level since joining the Magpies from Bournemouth earlier this year. He has averaged 2.0 shots, 0.9 key passes and 0.6 dribbles per game in the Premier League this season. However, Wilson has been quite sloppy with his ball-distribution as he has made just 63.9% of his attempted passes in the English top tier (stats via whoscored). 

Hence, the English frontman’s recent injury will be a major cause for concern as Steve Bruce doesn’t have enough depth in his attack to cope with his absence even if it is only for a few games. Joelinton and Andy Carroll have flattered to deceive with their performances this year while Dwight Gayle is still out of action due to injury.

Newcastle United's Wilson is a major doubt for Chelsea clash (Wilson is seen in the picture)
Callum Wilson of Newcastle during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion at St. James Park on September 20, 2020, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

What Does The English Forward Add To Bruce’s Side?

Wilson is blessed with electric pace and has developed a healthy habit of making some clever runs with the ball in behind the opposition defence. He is proficient at running the channels and putting in a tireless shift for his side even when he is isolated in the final third.

What makes Wilson such a prolific goal-scorer is his poacher’s instincts in front of the opponent’s goal. Plus, he often tests the keeper with his shot attempts but could add a few more assists to his game if he intends to become a well-respected figure at Tyneside.

How Can The Magpies Cope With Wilson’s Potential Absence?

At the moment, Bruce will have to choose between Joelinton and Carroll, which is not a good place to be, especially with an important league encounter against Chelsea looming on the horizon.

Otherwise, the Magpies can also opt to play either Allan Saint-Maximin or Miguel Almiron as a false-nine forward if Bruce is willing to experiment with his tactics. All in all, the Newcastle supporters will be hoping for Wilson’s speedy recovery ahead of what could be a gruelling few months in English football when the injuries tend to pile up along with the fixtures.

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