North East UK news Callum Wilson has already shown he's the best of England's back-up strikers PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - The Newcastle United No 9 didn't take long to make an impression on the World Cup scene, but how does he compare to strikers in previous squads?
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! It took Newcastle’s Callum Wilson just 14 minutes on Monday to underline his status as England’s first-choice alternative to Harry Kane. But where does Wilson – who unselfishly set up Jack Grealish for England’s final goal in their World Cup opener against Iran – rank alongside Three Lions striker understudies at previous tournaments? Is the Magpies’ striker the best back-up out and out attacking option England have had behind Kane and his predecessors in the modern-day No 9 shirt? We have crunched the data of England’s stand-in strikers’ performances at – and leading up to - the last three World Cups to find the answer. In Russia 2018, Kane started as part of a front two with Raheem Sterling, with Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy sharing substitute minutes off the bench before starting together in England’s final group game against Belgium, with qualification for the knock-out stages assured. READ MORE: Callum Wilson handed England World Cup boost after Harry Kane injury scare In total, Rashford and Vardy each played two full games, with Rashford totalling 202 minutes in the tournament and Vardy 160. Yet although Rashford cored with his third touch off the bench yesterday, he and Vardy failed to register a single goal contribution between them in Russia. Of the two, Rashford - then just 20 – was the brighter, having five shots (two of them on target) and an expected goals measurement of 0.6. Vardy did not manage a shot on target and accumulated just 0.1 xG throughout the tournament. But how did Rashford and Vardy compare with Wilson when it came to club form ahead of the tournament? With this World Cup held during the winter, Wilson has only played 15 games in the current campaign, but already has eight goal contributions - six goals and two assists. Extend those stats across a full 38-game season, and Wilson would end up with 15 goals and five assists.
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. And if we look back further – to England’s 2014 World Cup campaign? Well, a name you might have forgotten is the player who offers the most direct comparison to Wilson. Rickie Lambert went into the finals as the main understudy to Daniel Sturridge as Roy Hodgson gambled on playing one up front. Lambert was coming off the back of a season which was a match for Wilson’s current stats, having scored 13 goals and created 10 for Southampton. But Lambert would play just two ineffective minutes in Brazil at the end of a 2-1 defeat against Uruguay that all but sealed their failure to progress from the group stages. At South Africa 2010, Peter Crouch, Emile Heskey and Jermain Defoe shared supporting roles behind Wayne Rooney, who started all four of England’s games. But while Heskey started England’s first two group games alongside Rooney, before Defoe took over as his partner in the final group game and then scored in the knock-out defeat by Germany, it was Crouch who was Rooney’s direct potential replacement. Yet, with just 19 minutes off the bench in the tournament – both in the opening two group games – Crouch made no impression. And his form before flying to South Africa, with eight goals and six assists in the previous season for Tottenham, also pales next to that of Wilson this year. So the stats are clear: Wilson is as good a second-choice World Cup centre-forward as England have had in recent memory. READ NEXT Kuol eyes Mbappe 'level' and brilliant shoe response after Newcastle welcome Callum Wilson's England training absence explained after Iran World Cup cameo Eddie Howe's Newcastle transfer dilemma that will be debated until January 'A real threat' - Newcastle development has Premier League scared with £60m trump card to come Graeme Souness claims PIF should be 'nowhere near Newcastle United' in World Cup debate
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