Can uncapped Callum Wilson win England favour ahead of friendly fixtures?
Callum Wilson is currently the talk of the town. With five goals in six Premier League appearances so far, he is surpassing peers with far bigger reputations, as fully-fledged England internationals Wayne Rooney and Harry Kane continue to toil in attempting to break their domestic ducks this term.
Consequently, press are sitting up to take note of Wilson’s netting antics, though the 23-year-old’s excellent attacking exploits are old news as far as Bournemouth fans are concerned.
Having bagged a solid 20 Championship strikes to help push the Cherries to a first-ever Premier League promotion, the young Englishman’s potency was clear as day to the south coast support, who saw their dangerman notch a brilliant brace on his Bournemouth debut, after plucking him away from boyhood club Coventry last summer.
Now leading English scorer in the top flight, that rumoured £3m it took to snatch the sharpshooter already looks a bargain, as rapid Wilson’s goals have ensured the Cherries, now only 3/1 sixth-favourites for relegation with Coral, currently hang four points above the bottom three.
On a modest budget the Cherries have done previously unthinkable things, just like rivals Southampton before them, with Wilson the present jewel in their crown. After announcing himself on the big stage with a hat-trick against West Ham United, Wilson has continued to grab goals for the Dean Court club, with his latest a composed opener versus Sunderland.
It is not simply Wilson’s nose for goal that his thrilled fans and encouraged talk of a Three Lions future, however, as the Coventry-born frontman toyed with the Black Cats backline last time out.
Granted, Sunderland are known for shipping goals, but Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was complementary of his charge as he answered questions about a potential England bow.
“It is not up to me to decide. But I would certainly push him and ask him to be considered due to the start he has had. He has all the attributes that a modern day striker needs,” stated Howe.
“Callum’s potential is limitless, he is strong, quick and a good finisher, he is still young and needs to keep it level headed and do the right things. If he does, only good things will happen.”
Having progressed through the academy at a League One side, spending underwhelming loan stints with Conference clubs Kettering Town and Tamworth, Wilson’s career path is most similar to scrappy strikers such as Charlie Austin and Jamie Vardy, who took time to rise, rather than a rapid Rooney or Theo Walcott arrival.
The latter two are certainly international examples and inspirations, with Austin previously receiving a call-up from Roy Hodgson and Vardy now racking up the caps.
So, should Hodgson have a seat reserved at Dean Court to watch Wilson? The England boss has a history of giving underdogs a chance and, with his ever-improving hold-up play, the Bournemouth goal-getter could reap rewards.
It is a long Premier League season, so Three Lions fans may not want to get ahead of themselves and anoint Wilson, who has just one England Under-21 cap on his CV, the new ‘Hurri-Kane’ just yet.
Even though the Three Lions have achieved early Euro 2016 qualification, and are 11/1 to lift the trophy in France, upcoming dead-rubber clashes against Estonia and Lithuania may be seen as too much too soon. Yet, with prestige friendlies versus Spain, France and Germany in the pipeline, there is no excuse not to put a performing player through their paces.
Should Rooney and Kane continue to have troubles, while Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck are both injury worries, Hodgson may be thankful by the time the Euros roll around if he experiments with another potent poacher.