Alan Shearer lists ‘two things’ that would see Callum Wilson play for England v USA at World Cup

Former Newcastle United and England striker Alan Shearer has given a clear message regarding Harry Kane and Callum Wilson at this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

Wilson was called-up to the England squad for the first time in three years following a fine run of form for Newcastle ahead of the tournament. The striker has scored six goals in 10 starts for United so far this season.

And on Monday evening, the 30-year-old marked his fifth England cap and World Cup debut with an assist for Jack Grealish in a 6-2 win over Iran. Next up for England is USA in the group stage, the very same country Wilson scored against on his Three Lions debut in back in 2018.

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With Kane suffering an injury scare against Iran and requiring a scan, there was talk that Wilson could be given the nod to start the match against USA. But the England captain has since been declared fit to play by manager Gareth Southgate.

Jack Grealish celebrates with Callum Wilson and Marcus Rashford after scoring their team's sixth goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and IR Iran at Khalifa International Stadium on November 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

And Newcastle's all-time top goalscorer Shearer believes Wilson will only feature in Qatar under specific circumstances.

“Whether he can play a big part depends on two things,” Shearer said during the NUST 1892 Pledge Scheme Evening. “Whether England are struggling and he's the one that is going to have to come on and try and do something. If Harry stays fit and scores goals then the likelihood is he won't play a huge part, which we understand.

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"Harry is England's talisman, our leader and if they're going to go far in this tournament, he has to be in and amongst the golden boot winners, getting about six or seven goals.

"I don't think [Southgate] will play two up front so he'll only come on if the game is won [like it was v Iran] or if we need to try and win the game somehow. I like him a lot and he's great for Newcastle.”

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Shearer added: "You have to accept that he's probably going to miss a third of a season [due to injury] which is unfortunate because of what he gives the team.

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"He can run in behind, he gives a real threat in the 18 yard box and he doesn't give an easy time to the centre-halves, they don't like playing against him which is important as well.”