Newcastle United update on Callum Wilson for Arsenal as Alexander Isak nears injury return
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The Newcastle United striker started the club’s New Year’s Eve game against Leeds United from the bench after missing the Boxing Day win over Leicester City through illness. However, Wilson, the club’s No.9, could come into the starting XI for the fixture against the Premier League leaders at the Emirates Stadium.
Asked about his call on Wilson for the Leeds game, United head coach Eddie Howe said: “It wasn’t a difficult decision. Callum only trained (on December 30) for the first time in seven or eight days. I didn’t consider him fit enough to start the game.”
Howe will be without Alexander Isak (thigh), Jonjo Shelvey (calf) and Matt Targett (heel) against Arsenal. Club-record signing Isak, sidelined since September, is “very close” to a return to training.
"We need to make sure he is fit before exposing him to a match,” said Howe. “We’re just going to have to judge it when he’s fit.”
Meanwhile, Howe was asked if the injuries to Shelvey and Targett would influence the club’s plans for this month’s transfer window after the goalless draw against Leeds.
"The thing we have to guard against at this time of the year is injuries,” said Howe. "Every player you lose is a hammer blow, and it does open up potential weaknesses in the squad.
"We’re very aware of that. We look at Jonjo’s injury and Matt Targett’s injury. I don’t know quite how long they’re going to be out, although I don’t think either of them are really long-term, so we will get them back.
"But we obviously have to think of that.”