‘No shock’ £20m Newcastle United star favoured over striker sold by Rafa Benitez
Former Newcastle United midfielder John Barnes believes Callum Wilson’s England World Cup call-up ahead of Brentford’s Ivan Toney was justified.
Wilson was called-up to England’s squad for the first time in three years as he headed to Qatar with Newcastle team-mates Kieran Trippier and Nick Pope. The 30-year-old came off the bench and grabbed an assist in the 6-2 win over Iran but was an unused substitute during the 0-0 draw with USA on Friday.
The Newcastle No. 9 has scored six goals in the Premier League so far this season while Ivan Toney has found the net 10 times. Only England captain Harry Kane and Manchester City’s Erling Haaland have scored more than the Brentford striker.
But Barnes believes the way in which Newcastle and Wilson play ultimately swayed England boss Gareth Southgate.
“Both of them have been doing really well,” Barnes said via BonusCodeBets. “England probably play more like Newcastle than they do Brentford.
"Brentford are a very direct team. Play back to front and get loads of crosses in. That’s not necessarily the way Newcastle play.”
“If England did play that way then yes you could say Ivan Toney should be ahead of Callum Wilson. Wilson plays in a different side and has been doing well for Newcastle. It’s not much of a shock.
“The most important thing is for the manager to understand how he wants his team to play and put players in to fit that system. Ivan Toney is unlucky to not go but I don’t think you can say he should have been ahead of Callum Wilson.”
Kane has started up front for England in the opening two group stage games in Qatar and is expected to lead the line once again versus Wales on Tuesday night (7pm kick-off). But Barnes feels Wilson will help offer something different for England.
“He’s got pace to get in behind,” the former England international added. “If you look at the way we play, yes Harry can score goals and create but he’s not necessarily going to be running in behind. He will drop deep to allow [Phil] Foden and [Raheem] Sterling or some of the other players to run in behind.”
“You really want a striker that can do that as well and that’s what Callum Wilson does.”