Football News

Callum Wilson: Haaland-chasing striker could suddenly become the January transfer window’s main character

By CJ Smith

Published: 14:48, 26 January 2024

The end of the January transfer window is in sight but for Newcastle United supporters, the anxiety may only just be starting. 

During his Friday press conference, manager Eddie Howe was met with a barrage of questions about the futures of multiple key players, including Kieran Trippier, Miguel Almiron, Joelinton and Callum Wilson.

The latter, in particular, seems like he could be edging toward a St. James’ Park exit, with Newcastle reportedly willing to part ways with Wilson for as little as £18m as they seek to balance their spending. It’s thought that Chelsea hold a strong interest in Wilson, with Arsenal and Manchester United also keeping a close eye on developments.

For his part, Wilson likely has more cause to seek an exit from Newcastle than most given how often he’s had to settle for a role as an impact sub or rotational option behind Alexander Isak. Despite starting just 28 of his 45 Premier League appearances since the start of last season, Wilson has still managed 25 goals in the competition during that time, also making his presence felt for the Magpies in cup competitions.

In fact, there’s a strong argument to suggest that Erling Haaland has been the only striker more effective than Wilson in the Premier League since the start of last season:

But at 31, Wilson — whose contract expires in June 2025 — will surely be keen to play as many minutes as possible, especially with the European Championships coming up this summer. The striker has previously answered questions about his future when linked with continental giants Atletico Madrid and AC Milan.

“It’s January. The window is open and there is always speculation with players, not just regarding myself but with everyone else in the squad as well. I haven’t got much more to say than that,” Wilson said on the latest episode of his Footballer’s Football Podcast with Michail Antonio.

Between Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, it’s the Blues that have the only out-and-out striker with more than five Premier League goals to their name this season, with Nicolas Jackson hitting seven. Cole Palmer, meanwhile, is the top scorer between those three clubs across all positions with nine league strikes.

With that in mind, all three clubs could make a convincing argument about needing a No.9 this January, despite their respective targets for the season ranging from winning the title to merely qualifying for European competition.

Callum Wilson next club odds

  • Manchester United – 6/1
  • West Ham – 6/1
  • AC Milan – 8/1
  • Chelsea – 8/1
  • Any Saudi Pro League club – 9/1
  • Arsenal – 14/1
  • Atletico Madrid – 14/1

Odds provided by Sky Bet. 18+ only. BeGambleAware.

Eddie Howe: There’s no part of me that wants to lose Callum Wilson

Howe remains steadfast in his commitment to keep Wilson at Newcastle, affirming the former Bournemouth striker’s importance to his plans and dismissing much of the speculation regarding his future as ‘unfounded’.

“It’s been a strange one. A lot of speculation and a lot of it unfounded,” Howe told reporters. “From our side, he’s a huge part of what we do. We’re desperate to get our two strikers fit again.

“He’s nearing a return from injury and looks good. He’s getting there. There’s no part of me that wants to lose him.”

Howe also insisted Wilson himself remains ‘100 per cent committed’ to the Newcastle United cause, but that certain factors may be out of the club’s control.

“In every conversation, he’s 100 per cent committed. No part of him is looking elsewhere,” Howe said, adding: “He’s got big ambitions and we want to keep him here. But some things are out of our control.

“The club is acting with the long-term interests of the club and they have to. Let’s see what happens.”