Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson is a fitness doubt for this weekend’s match against Chelsea as he struggles with an illness. The 30-year-old was one of the more surprising names included in Gareth Southgate’s 26-man England squad on Thursday but he may head to the World Cup without playing in the final round of Premier League matches.
Wilson is currently celebrating his first call-up to a major international tournament after seeing off competition from Ivan Toney and Tammy Abraham to secure a place on the flight to Qatar as Harry Kane’s understudy.
However, his week has not been perfect as he struggles with illness. The striker was taken off at half-time during Newcastle’s 4-1 win over Southampton last weekend after suffering with a cold the week before. It appears it is yet to leave his system a week later with Toon boss Eddie Howe confirming he was a fitness doubt for the weekend’s encounter with Chelsea.
“We will wait and see,” he told reporters during his pre-match press conference. “He has been training separately from the group this week. He had an illness so he has been away from the group. He’s been working well but I need to make a decision if he’s fit enough to play.”
JUST IN: Toney’s heartbreaking words after England World Cup snub by Southgate
Club manager Howe spoke glowingly about his star striker for his progress, praising him for overcoming a host of setbacks to make the 26-man squad.
“It’s an amazing thing for him individually and I’m sure his family,” he said. “Callum has had a difficult career. It’s not always been about the successes. He’s had huge successes and he’s risen from the lower leagues to the Premier League and now the national squad at a World Cup. It’s been a brilliant thing for me to witness first-hand. When you see how it’s been achieved, you see it’s been through dedication, consistency to his work, a really positive mindset.
“Even sometimes when he got injured, his first instinct was always, ‘I’m going to come back better’ and then he put the work in to come back better so it’s not just talk with Callum. He actually delivers. He’s got a way of scoring goals, a uniqueness about him, so I’m delighted for him. I hope he can go and make a real impact.”