Wilson backs Joelinton to come good after number swap

Date published: Monday 2nd August 2021 3:28 - Jason Soutar

Callum Wilson

Newcastle United striker Callum Wilson has backed teammate Joelinton to play a big role this season after a difficult first two years at the club.

Last month it was revealed that Wilson was handed the iconic No.9 shirt by the north east club, replacing the Brazilian who took up the vacant No.7.

The ex-Bournemouth striker is keen to emulate the likes of Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, and Les Ferdinand who have worn the famous shirt in the past.

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Wilson hit the ground running in his debut season at St James’ Park.

Suffering two separate hamstring injuries during the second half of the season, the striker only managed 26 league matches last term but bagged an impressive 12 goals.

Joelinton, on the other hand, has struggled since his £40million move from Hoffenheim in 2019, managing only six goals in his 69 Premier League appearances so far.

However, Wilson has backed the 24-year-old to have a big season.

Speaking to Shearer for The Athletic, he said: “He’s still young, he’s Brazilian and it’s not easy coming to English football.

“It’s more physical than other leagues. It takes time for some players. Some hit the ground running, some take a bit longer and even though he’s a big guy, there’s a lot of big players who don’t use their bodies or their strength as well as they could. I think he’s adapting to it now.

“Playing out wide, facing the play and taking on defenders probably suits him better than having his back to goal, but it’s been a couple of years, he’s improving his English, he’s having more conversations with the squad, with fans and the media and is probably feeling more settled which I’m sure helps on the pitch.

“Not having the added pressure of the No.9 shirt might help, too. He’ll have a big part to play this year.”

Elsewhere, the Magpies have reportedly bid for Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara.

Currently a France Under 21 international, Kamara has a great deal of potential and should be a success at St James’.

The 21-year-old has already made 122 appearances for his boyhood club and has Champions League experience.

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