‘On the plane’ - Shay Given reveals why 'brilliant' Newcastle United duo should be in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad
Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad is expected imminently - and there could be a few Newcastle United representatives that join up with the Three Lions in Qatar.
Kieran Trippier and Nick Pope are expected to be named by Southgate in his 26-man squad for the showpiece event with both becoming trusted members of Southgate’s past squads. Trippier will likely play a major role in Qatar with Pope acting as deputy to Jordan Pickford.
Another Magpie in the frame for a call-up is Callum Wilson who will hope his recent good form has forced himself into the picture and former Magpies goalkeeper Shay Given believes Newcastle’s no.9 should be on the plane to Qatar.
Speaking to Mega Casino, Given said: “I really do. I think Wilson could be a great back-up to Harry Kane, who will rightly lead the line and be the main man for his country.
“Wilson is in great form at the moment and his confidence will be sky high. I think he deserves a place in the squad.
“Touch wood the injuries are behind him and he looks like he could be in peak condition. He has scored some big goals for Newcastle, so he’ll be feeling good. I would definitely put him on the plane.”
Given was also asked his thoughts on the possibility of Wilson’s team mate Dan Burn being a ‘wildcard’ option for Southgate. Burn has impressed ever since he joined his boyhood club in January, starring at left-back this season despite centre-back being his natural position.
Although the former Magpies stopper would like to see the 30-year-old included in the group that travel to Qatar, Given believes the World Cup might come too soon for Burn to force himself into contention.
“Possibly.” Given said. “He’s been brilliant for Newcastle hasn’t he?
“You just wonder if he’s coming into the mix a bit late to find himself on the plane. He would prefer to play at centre back, but this season, he has proven for Newcastle that he can be a rampaging left back when he wants to be one.
“He’s great on the ball and is very much a modern footballer because he can play in a number of roles. If he is giving Southgate something to think about, then you have to give him credit for that.”