Eddie Howe reacts after Newcastle United agree deal with ‘elite’ 41-goal player

Callum Wilson celebrated his new contract extension at Newcastle United with a goal in a 1-0 win over Brentford on Saturday.

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Wilson scored from the penalty spot on his first start of the season to net his 41st goal for Newcastle in only his 80th appearance. The day before the game, the club confirmed that the 31-year-old had signed a new one-year contract extension until the summer of 2025.

And when asked if Wilson’s performance against Brentford showed exactly why the club handed him a contract extension, Howe replied: “Yeah, I thought he led the line really well.

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“Probably not the trademark Callum Wilson performance, he held the ball up well, backed in well and was a real physical presence and a nuisance for them.

“He took his penalty really well and didn't have much in open play but a brilliant display from a Newcastle number nine.”

Wilson now has 14 goals in his last 17 matches for Newcastle, averaging a goal every 59 minutes on the field in that time.

It has been almost a decade since Howe first signed Wilson for AFC Bournemouth as a youngster from Coventry City. And The Magpies boss has praised the striker for his character and ability to establish himself as an ‘elite’ player while keeping himself grounded.

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“There have been no real obvious changes [to Wilson’s character] but his life has changed drastically which is a huge compliment to him really,” Howe added.

“He's gone from when I first signed him as a Championship player to now an international, a Premier League player and a Champions League player. His character is still the same where he laughs, he jokes, he's positive and kind, a really good team-mate and father to his kids.”

Wilson has been hit by many set-backs in his life, from hardship growing up to several serious injury blows during his career. But the striker has bounced back on numerous occasions and is now in the best goalscoring form of his career at the top level.

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“He's had a very difficult journey to get where he is now, it's not been plain sailing,” Howe continued. “His character and his positivity has helped become an elite player. I'm delighted and I hope and I know there's more there for him.”